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Hi Hillary,

I understand this situation is frustrating; at the same time, it can be a blessing in disguise, so don't lose heart! Try to look at this situation through the lens of connection:

1) You have an opportunity to build an alliance with a faculty member who sees value in students visiting the learning center; and
2) You have students visiting your center who might not otherwise come into it.

Both are great opportunities for relationship-building, so it is important not to lose sight of that, even though you and your tutors might be feeling (understandably) frustrated.

What I would tell my team in this situation is that this is an opportunity to change the narrative about our learning center for this professor and group of students from a deficit-model to a growth model perspective. I would tell the tutors that their mission is to give the students a reason to come back to the learning center, now that they're here.

One way they can do this is to set long-term goals with their students. For example, the tutors can ask: What do they (the students) want to be able to do as a student that they cannot yet do? The tutor can then help their students make an action plan to address these goals--which might require them to come back to the learning center for more sessions! They should also set and accomplish the goal of completing the assignment the professor sent them to the learning center to complete, of course, but, after that, it's time for the tutors to up their game and help their students focus on their continued growth as learners.

It's natural to wonder whether students who are reluctant to come to tutoring because they are required to do so are quote-on-quote "taking appointments from other students," but the fact is--the students sent by this professor are there in your center, they are students, and the other theoretical students are not there. So the ones sent by this faculty member deserve all of the energy your tutors can give them. And maybe they will decide to come back or at least have a positive experience that they tell other students about. And maybe you will have a new faculty ally in your circle. It could be a win-win.

Rebecca Tedesco
Southwestern College (San Diego, CA)
CRLA Level 3 Master Tutor
Certified Learning Center Professional - Level 3
She/Her


On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 2:19 PM Mary Early <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi, Hillary,

A few things come to mind:
  • If the student doesn't engage, then we won't sign off on the visit.
  • One of our faculty created a writing assignment that incorporates visiting us as part of the assignment. She shared it with us in advance and was available for questions from tutors.
  • Talk with faculty in advance: What are their expectations, including time spent and interaction? What are yours, including limitations on time and services and what counts as a visit?
Good luck,

Mary

On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 3:10 PM Hillary Fleenor <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hello!
We have some faculty that assign visits to our center as extra credit, but recently a  few have actually made it an assignment that counts as a grade (so it's not optional). The tutors are concerned because some of the students don't feel they need any help so seem mostly disengaged during the appointment or even hostile. They aren't getting much out of the experience and might be taking an appointment from someone who actually needs it. Does anyone have  policy or any helpful experience on how to handle when faculty make tutoring an actual assignment? 

Thanks so much! 

--
Hillary G. Fleenor, 2(M.S.)
Director, Academic Center for Tutoring
Lecturer, TSYS School of Computer Science
Columbus State University
Office: Simon Schwob Memorial Library 244 , Tel: 706-507-8646
Visit the ACT : [log in to unmask]

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 A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence. --Anonymous

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?

- Erin Hanson
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--
 
Paradise Valley Community College logo
Mary Early, Ph.D.
Paradise Valley Community College
MARICOPA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Director | Learning Success Center
18401 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85032
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