- Contacting Us
- Getting your own tutor
- A typical session
- Supplemental instruction and Group Study
- Our tutors
- What we tutor
- What we don't do
- Handouts and resources
Getting a tutor
Getting help from a tutor at the Academic Support Center is simple: Just come by for help. We're free for students, and we've got convenient hours and online support. You can drop by for quick help; enroll in Project Mainstay, a grant program that gives you a tutor-mentor, technology if you need it, and social and cultural opportunities to build a stronger college experience; or (if you qualify) make an appointment to see a specific tutor.
There's no reason not to get help! Stop in, call, or find more information online, but whatever you do, don't struggle alone.
A typical tutoring session
During a typical tutoring session, you and the tutor will sit at a table or meet online to have a conversation about your homework, project, or essay. The tutor will ask you if there is anything in particular that you would like to focus on or might need help improving. If you have any notes from your professor, you'll want to bring them to the table. The tutor and you will discuss any issues or questions, and the tutor will help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses to help you focus your work away from the Center.
We have a few special rules for writing sessions that students who haven't been in for a few semesters might be unfamiliar with. First, we will not read papers that are dropped off, and the tutors won't work as editors to fix your grammar or sentence errors for you. Instead, tutors will explain issues of grammar and punctuation as the need arises in your essay, with the goal of teaching you how to spot and correct your own errors on that text and future pieces of writing. Second, in writing sessions, you or the tutor will read the piece of writing aloud. This technique helps you hear your own errors, and you'll be shocked at how many mistakes you catch yourself, letting you and the tutor work on concerns that aren't so easily "fixed."
Online tutors hold tutoring sessions online or by phone, at a distance. Online sessions are synchronous and require students to make appointments to meet. Tutors and students “meet” either online inside the online scheduler or by phone (online sessions number - 410.849.9260). Currently, we offer online tutoring sessions in writing, business/accounting, and some science classes. We have a handy quick-guide to get you started.
Supplemental instruction/Group study
In a supplemental instruction session, a tutor holds a study session for students in a specific section of a class. The tutor has been attending the class alongside the students and has usually met with the instructor about the topics in which students are likely to need extra help. If you're in a class that has supplemental instruction, you can attend any of the supplemental instruction sessions held for your class section.
In a handful of classes, tutors anticipate a high number of students coming with the same questions. For these, tutors hold what we call group study sessions, when a tutor sets aside an hour for a group tutoring/study session for students in a specific course. Math and science courses tend to have dedicated study-sessions. You can find the group study schedule using our online scheduler. Just change the "Schedule" in the drop-down menu when you log in to "Group Study."
Our tutors are a diverse bunch; they work full-time and part-time; they’re retired teachers and current students; they bring a wide range of experiences, histories, and world views to the table. The fact that our tutors reflect the diversity of our student body helps every student find a tutor with whom she or he “fits.” If you're interested in joining our diverse bunch of tutors, find information about applying online.
Our tutors don’t all work in the same mode. Here’s a breakdown of the different ways our tutors provide tutoring support:
- Writing tutors provide support in any writing assignment students have, regardless of discipline. They also help with resumes, application and appeal letters, and other writing situations in which students need advice.
- Drop-in math and science tutors give intermittent help to students working in the group math and science rooms or at the computers independently. This tutoring is a bit like the “kitchen table” approach – students work, and tutors answer questions as they come up.
- Appointment-based content-area tutors work one-on-one or in small groups with students who make an appointment for twenty minutes on a specific topic. Math, science, technology, business, and other content-area tutors take 20-, 40-, or 60-minute appointments as necessary and as availability allows for students who have been screened for qualification with Project Mainstay.
- Dedicated drop-in tutors facilitate study groups for a specific course from which we know many students will be seeking tutoring. For example, Math 113 always draws a large number of tutees, so a math tutor might hold an hour or two of dedicated drop-in time reserved specifically for Math 113 questions.
- Supplemental instruction tutors work with a specific section and instructor for a high-fail course. They attend class meetings and hold review/study sessions for the students in the course. Currently, we offer SI for some science courses, including A & P.
- Embedded tutors work in the developmental math and English classes, doing the work of tutoring on the spot where students are likely to need support through self-paced coursework.
- Project Mainstay tutors work with students enrolled in the TRIO Student Support Service, Project Mainstay. For more information about Project Mainstay, see our Project Mainstay page online.
- Online tutors hold sessions online or by phone, at a distance. Online sessions are synchronous and require students to make appointments to meet. We have a handy quick-guide to starting online tutoring for you to check out.
Disciplines We Tutor
For the Fall 2012 semester, we offer tutoring in the following disciplines:
- Study skills
- Technology (including CIS and Adobe's Creative Suite)
- Writing (in any class)
As our tutoring staff grows, this list of disciplines might change. If you are in need of a tutor in a discipline not listed here, be in touch. We might have added a tutor to the staff who can answer your questions.
If you're interested in joining our staff as a tutor yourself, you can apply online for a position.
What We Don't Do
- We do NOT offer a drop-off or email proofreading service.
- Tutors will not offer predictions on a student's expected grade.
- Writing tutors cannot "fix" the paper, assignment, or exercise or guarantee that a grade on a paper or project will improve.
- We will not provide information about a session to an instructor unless the student makes special arrangements for us to do so.
Handouts and Resources
We're currently curating our existing handouts and resources. Until they're updated, we recommend the Purdue Online Writing Lab for handouts on all sorts of writing-related topics, including MLA and APA citation. For math resources, we recommend the Khan Academy's online tutorials. Of course, you can always see us in person or in an online appointment for specific help!