I’m at a community college as well, and we have some of the same issues. I usually don’t have much trouble recruiting math tutors; we’ve got enough students that come in having had AP Calculus that I can usually start them tutoring through College Algebra within their first semester (and we have a VERY strong relationship with our Math Coordinator/Department Chair, and that helps a LOT).
However, I struggle mightily to recruit enough Chemistry/Physics tutors. Right now, I only have three Chemistry tutors (I could probably keep an additional 2-3 working) and no Physics tutors. I am trying to build relationships with the department chairs, but part of the problem here is that the Nursing program (which a lot of our students are a part of) just added a Chemistry requirement within the past couple of years, and we are struggling to meet the demands of the Nursing students. I don’t have as close a relationship with either the Nursing or Chemistry departments as I do with Math, so I think that’s part of the issue; the Math Coordinator considers it part of her responsibility to ensure that we have sufficient tutors to meet the demand (and it helps that close to 50% of the tutoring that happens in my Center is math tutoring).
One thing that helps a lot is that we schedule tutoring on an “as needed” basis through an online scheduling platform. Students can only schedule four weeks in advance, and that helps absorb tutor schedule changes. I try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to scheduling; I can’t pay very much, and so I do everything I can to set up a positive, pleasant work environment, and that seems to help tutor retention as well.
Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help!
Elizabeth F. Nalagan, M.A.
| Tutoring Center Supervisor | Rose State College | Office: CD115 |
6420 S.E. 15th St. | Midwest City, OK 73110-2799 | Tutoring Center: (405) 733-7417 | Direct: (405) 733-7402 | [log in to unmask]
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Does anyone else have trouble staffing their peer tutoring programs? We certainly struggle to keep enough tutors on staff. Often, we start the semester a few tutors short of what we would really like to have, and then we also end up losing some throughout the semester. Usually they say they need to devote more time to their school work, or occasionally they say it doesn’t pay enough, or they got a new job. We are additionally challenged by the fact that we are a community college, so by the time a student is proficient enough in math or science for us to utilize their expertise, they are about to graduate.
All that to say, does anyone have any solutions to this issue? We have tried reaching out to instructors for recommendations, and rarely get responses. We have put job postings around campus (which usually brings us the few new hires we get each semester).
Any ideas or things that have worked for you?
Kelly Askey lodes | Peer/Group Tutoring Program Supervisor
Academic Support Center at Florissant Valley
ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE ... EXPANDING MINDS... CHANGING LIVES
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