Hello colleagues,

Over the years, our center has gradually re-allocated our tutoring resources
increasingly toward SI in math and sciences and walk-in centers in
Math/Physics and Chemistry. We've moved resources away from
appointment-based tutoring in most liberal arts  courses and stayed about
even in appointment based tutoring in nursing and business.  I haven't been
comfortable, though, with having less help available in languages,
philosophy, psychology, etc. - we staff fewer tutoring hours in these areas
because the demand for help is not as great as in the sciences. There is a
demand, however, and we are failing to meet it adequately. 

So, I'm considering switching from our current system, where tutors in these
areas work on regular schedules in our center whether they have appointments
or not, to one in which we hire and retain tutors who are kept on a contact
list and brought in on demand, when students ask for an appointment.  This
way we will be paying them only for hours worked.

I'm concerned about how this would affect a number of areas, including our
reception/appointment setting function, the tutor's skills development and
personal investment, and so on. Would any of you who use such a system be
willing to share your insights? What kinds of things should we be taking
into account?



David B. Hayes
Director, Academic Enhancement Center
University College
University of Rhode Island
(401) 874-2953

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