Tagging on to Martin's response, you may want to consider shifting your tutor branding or marketing approach. Hire multi-talented, multi-disciplined tutors who are comfortable assisting and supporting a variety of disciplines/subjects.  Then market your tutoring services by offering broad-based study skills and techniques that promote critical thinking, reading  strategies, and time management. We have found, for example, students taking psychology are struggling not because they need help with the subject matter, but because they're struggling to get through the text and/or do not know how to take effective lecture notes. I'm not suggesting you match a chemistry student with a history tutor, rather use your in-service training and professional development to create tutor specialties. Students tell me the tips and techniques our tutors provide are transferrable and as such, invaluable.

To use the psychology example again, an upper-level psych class at our school includes a segment on the brain which a lot of psych students (even the "good" ones) find difficult. We sent a tutor to this class to make a brief announcement about our tutoring services and how we might help the students in this particular area. Now we manage regular small group tutoring for this specific psych class.


[cid:[log in to unmask]]

Sara Weertz
Director, Supplemental Instruction
Angelo State University
Member, Texas Tech University System
ASU Station #10915
San Angelo, TX  76909
(325) 942-2710  X-387
[log in to unmask]


-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Golson, Martin
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2010 10:13 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: question about changing tutoring program structure - need advice

We do not use a contact list for tutors, but I hope that I can offer some thoughts about the situation you have described.

There are a couple of reasons we do not utilize a tutor contact list.

                * The tutors are unable to plan for how much they will earn each pay period. This becomes a real disincentive to become a tutor. We have several very qualified tutors working for us who quit working for a different tutoring program on campus which uses a contact list, even though the other program pays more on an hourly basis.

                * This approach prevents students from using the services on a walk-in basis.

I would offer the following suggestions for the subject areas you mention:

                * If you are including Writing with languages, try allowing students to email their papers into your center. Almost half the business our Writing Lab does is done by email.

                * Recruit tutors for multiple areas. The tutors we have for psychology are also very strong in statistics so they are also able to work with students who walk-in with those questions (statistics is the second highest demand area we have, writing is the highest).

                * See if the departments will work with you in recruiting the tutor(s) for their subject area. Our Psychology Department has designated one professor to work with us in recruiting. He sends me an email each semester with the names of the tutors they want and then sends the students to my office to apply. All I have to do is coordinate the hours. This instills greater confidence in the professors that we have the right people working with their students, so they are send students to us for help on a routine basis.

                * look at other tasks the tutors can do to assist students when they are not tutoring. We provide online support to most subject areas. We ask tutors who are not working with students to look at the resources we provide as links and determine if there are other resources that should be available. Then they are asked to create or find those resources.

I know this is not what you asked for, but I hope it helps.

Martin Golson

Instructional Specialist

Austin Peay State University

(931) 221-6553


-----Original Message-----

From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Hayes

Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2010 9:39 AM

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: question about changing tutoring program structure - need advice

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

To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web browser to

To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]