Educational Resource Center

What to Expect

Peer Tutoring is a great resource for students who need additional help with their course material.  It is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and work through challenging topics with another student in a casual and judgment-free zone.

How do know if tutoring is right for me?

If you feel you need additional support in one of your courses and want to work with other students, Peer Tutoring might be a good option for you.  Read through the Peer Tutoring Policies, Peer Tutoring FAQs, and Appointment Comparison to help you see if it seems like a good fit for you.  If you haven’t already done so, we strongly encourage you to talk to your professor or teaching fellow as a first step.  You can also request an individual advising appointment with one of our professional staff members. They can talk to you about peer tutoring as well as your individual concerns, study strategies, and other resources available to you.

Is there anything I need to do before my tutoring appointment?

Yes! Preparation is very important to a beneficial tutoring appointment.  It will help both you and your tutor focus on the areas you are having difficulty with.  Here’s what you should do before your appointment:

  • Review and identify specific areas you are having difficulty with.  If you’re having trouble, start by looking at the broader topics on the syllabus, reviewing past exams, homework, and class notes.
  • Let your tutor know what you want to work on before the session. You can include it in the Notes section in TutorTrac when you schedule your appointment or send them an email.  Be as specific as you can. This will allow the tutor to come prepared as well.
  • Come to the session with questions you want to ask your tutor so you can be sure to cover the areas you are having difficulty with.
  • Bring your text book, class notes, or any additional material from class. Your tutor won’t have the course materials available to bring to the appointment.
  • Make sure you have attended class, done the readings, and attempted the homework, even if you are having difficulty with it. Your tutor is there to help you understand the material and work through challenges, but not to re-teach the class for you.

Who will my tutor be?

Your tutor will be another student who has already taken the course and excelled in it. Tutors have been recommended by their professor and trained in tutoring techniques. They know the challenges in their course and want to help other students succeed.

What will happen in the tutoring appointment?

Your tutor will focus the appointment on what you want to work on.  Your tutor will challenge you (and the group) to work through your questions and will help guide you through confusing topics/materials from class. Tutors not only help to answer your questions about confusing aspects of the course, but they also listen to your concerns and help you develop stronger methods of approaching course material.

If you are in a weekly appointment, you will meet with the same tutor each week for the semester. You will have the opportunity to continue your discussion the next week and work 1-2 other students having similar challenges.  Weekly appointments are often the very beneficial to students because they provide continued support for the duration of the course.

How can I make the tutoring appointment most beneficial?

Come prepared and willing to participate.  Your tutor will work with you to help you understand the material, so the more engaged you are, the more you will get out of it.  Be sure to ask questions when you don’t understand something.  If you are in a weekly session with other students, listen to their questions because they are probably similar to yours.  You might be able to help them with a concept, which will enhance your understanding as well.

Is there anything I should NOT expect?

Your tutor is a student just like you, so you shouldn’t expect them to be an expert in the field. They don’t always have all the answers, and that’s ok. If you are looking for answers from an expert in the field, you may be better suited asking your professor or TF. You can also check out our listing of Additional Academic Resources to learn about additional levels of support available to you.

  • Tutors won’t have a lesson plan prepared ahead of time.
  • Your tutor is not permitted do your homework for you.
  • Tutors won’t have access to your course’s Blackboard site, textbook, and syllabus. But you should feel free to bring these materials with you!

“Come prepared having gone to class and knowing what the material is. It is better to come and get a better understanding of concepts than to learn at a tutoring session. Each session has only a certain amount of time and it is a better use of your personal time to gain a better understanding of what you came to get help for.”—ERC Tutor

Career Development Cycle