Peer Tutoring FAQs

Students are encouraged to schedule their own tutoring appointment via our online scheduling system, Salesforce. The Learning Center website provides a direct link to Salesforce as well as step-by-step instructions for scheduling.

Appointments can be booked no more than two weeks in advance and no less than 24 hours in advance.

 

Should a student find that there are no tutors available for a specified course, they should immediately submit a Tutor Request Form. A link to the request form is included in Salesforce beneath the availability calendar.

We aim to address tutor requests as soon as possible. If a request is submitted and our current tutors cannot assist the student, depending on the scope of the request we will begin recruitment of new tutors and/or identify alternative resources to support the student.

While we appreciate faculty efforts to ensure resources are in place before a student needs them, we base our recruitment decisions on past and present student demand. As educators we recognize that students would benefit from tutoring support, however past trends show that students may be unwilling to seek the support even when it is available.

If you find that we do not have a tutor on staff to support students in your course, we ask that you encourage students enrolled in your course to complete a Tutor Request Form online. Faculty with questions about our tutor request process should feel free to reach out to Kim Rutledge, Learning Center Director, at kdrutledge@usfca.edu.

Peer Tutoring sessions are typically one hour in length. The tutor and tutee set an objective together, and develop strategies to achieve academic goals. Tutoring sessions provide guided practice on information taught by faculty and also provide an opportunity for students to make mistakes and check understanding in a non-judgmental environment. To each session, tutees bring class/lecture notes and textbooks, along with other material relevant to the work at hand. All sessions revolve around the students’ academic needs. Tutors are prohibited from teaching new/unfamiliar material to tutees.

Tutoring occurs on the Lower Level of Gleeson Library, directly outside of The Learning, Writing, and Speaking Centers’ main office (Room G03). Students who cannot make it to campus for their appointments have the option of selecting an “Online” appointment. This preference is indicated during the scheduling process. Online appointments occur through the utilization of Zoom, and students can find instructions to connect with their tutor in their appointment confirmation emails.

During the fall and spring terms, Peer Tutoring will commence in the second week of the semester and end on Study/Reading Day, the day prior to the start of finals. Each semester The Learning Center also hosts Tutorpalooza, a large drop-in tutoring event that allows students to get last-minute questions answered. 

Limited Peer Tutoring is available during the summer sessions, and there is no Peer Tutoring during the winter intersession.
 

The Learning Center provides Peer Tutoring in a variety of academic subjects, generally introductory, "gatekeeper" courses that are required for freshmen and sophomore students. For all other courses we hire Peer Tutors based on student requests and/or demands. An up-to-date supported-course list can be found here.

See also: What should my students do if no tutors are available?
 

During our formal recruitment process, students have the opportunity to apply and interview for multiple positions with The Learning Center. Therefore, all applicants are invited to attend an initial informational session and group interview. From there, our staff makes decisions about who will move on to the 1:1 interview process with a specific program/supervisor. Applicants for Peer Tutoring positions will typically advance to the final, 1:1 round of interviews if they meet our minimum requirements, including:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and Term GPA of 3.0
  • Received at least an A- in the course(s) they intend to tutor; completed course at USF

When hiring for the current term outside of the formal recruitment process, applicants will typically participate in only one interview. Applicants receive an invitation to participate in an interview if they meet the above the requirements as well as the following:

  • Be a current, full-time enrolled student at USF, with completion of at least one semester at USF

Ultimately, hiring decisions are based on several factors, including:

  • Faculty Recommendation Form(s)* for each course applicant intends to tutor
  • Interview(s)
  • Potential and willingness to support multiple high-need courses
  • Overall academic record
  • Conduct record
  • Availability: (1) Tutors must be available a minimum of 6 hrs/wk and (2) Tutors must be available to participate in 5-6 in-person trainings throughout their first semester of employment

*NOTE: Receipt of the faculty recommendation is necessary for an application to be considered, but does not guarantee the applicant will be hired. Additionally, all tutors are expected to participate in ongoing tutor training, facilitated by the Learning Center and designed according to College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) guidelines.
 

To apply to be a Peer Tutor, students should visit the Employment Opportunities webpage for more information. Students interested in working as Language Tutors should complete an application with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages (MCL).

Common Learning Center Peer Leader Recruitment Timeline (Fall and Spring Terms):

  • Week 3: Application for next term opens
  • Week 8: Priority Application submission deadline
  • Week 9: Information Sessions/Group Interviews facilitated
  • Week 9: Candidates required to submit additional/supplemental application materials
  • Week 11-14: Individual Interviews facilitated
  • Week 14: Faculty Recommendation submission deadline
  • Week 15: Offers/notifications provided to all candidates
  • Week 16: New Hire Meeting facilitated

If a need still exists at the start of the term or students request tutors throughout the term (and our current tutors cannot assist the student), we accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the term. This allows us to identify qualified candidates and hire, train, and place them as quickly as possible.

NOTE: Students nominated/recommended by faculty members are not guaranteed a position within The Learning Center, and not all applicants are hired each semester. However, we hire on a one-semester basis so we encourage students to re-apply if they are not selected.
 

The hiring process can take anywhere from one week to one month. We, of course, prefer the process to move as quickly and smoothly as possible. Typical reasons the process is extended include:

  • Delayed application submission
  • Scheduling conflicts that delay initial interview and/or New Tutor Orientation
  • Delayed I-9 submission
  • Candidate may not have ready access to required forms of identification (Social Security Card, Driver’s License, US Passport, etc.)
  • For International Students: Candidate has not started the Social Security application process
  • Delayed Faculty Recommendation Form submission
  • Breakdown in communication between applicant and The Learning Center
  • Candidate is unable to secure faculty recommendation
  • Candidate enrollment status falls below full-time
  • Candidate academic standing falls below minimum requirements
  • Candidate availability has changed
  • Candidate must focus on other priorities
  • Commuting to and from campus imposes a potential hardship
  • Candidate is unable to commit to training requirements

All current USF students are eligible to meet with a Peer Tutor for courses on our supported-course list, and/or to submit a Tutor Request Form to seek additional support. It is important to note that students must be currently enrolled* in a course to receive Peer Tutoring support for that course.

*Some exceptions do apply for USF affiliate programs. Faculty with questions about this should feel free to reach out to Kim Rutledge, Learning Center Director, at kdrutledge@usfca.edu.

Students can meet with a Peer Tutor up to 4 hours in a 7 day period, per subject (i.e. Monday-Sunday, Wednesday-Tuesday, etc.). Additionally, students are eligible to book one appointment per day, per subject. NOTE: Peer Tutoring appointments are typically one hour in length. 

The Learning Center Peer Tutoring program is certified by the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA). During a tutor's first semester of employment they are required to participate in 11.5 hours of online and in-person training sessions. During their first semester of employment, tutors are required to participate in 11.5 hours of online and in-person training. Topics include Developing Study Strategies, Taking Advantage of Learning Styles, Understanding Diverse Needs of USF Students, Effective Communication Skills, and others. Training provides tutors with hands-on experience and an opportunity to learn from their peers. Tutors who continue past their first semester remain engaged in 5 hours of training each semester.

If you feel that a student would make an exceptional tutor, direct them to our online application posted in the Employment Opportunities section of our website. Once they apply, they will be provided with a link to a brief, online recommendation form, which we require to be submitted by USF Faculty members for all courses they wish to support.

At any point of the term, members of the USF community, including faculty, staff, and current students, can nominate students for Learning Center employment opportunities through our Nomination Form.

NOTE: Upon receipt of your nomination the Learning Center reaches out to the nominee with an invitation to apply. This form is NOT the program-specific recommendation that applicants may request of you. They should be sending you additional information regarding the official recommendation process as they continue through the process.
 

Peer Tutoring is not meant to replace meeting with faculty or TAs. We are simply an additional resource. By meeting with a Peer Tutor regularly, the student is carving out specific time at least once each week to focus on coursework outside of class. In addition to covering course content, Peer Tutors assist tutees with the development of study skills and problem-solving skills in an effort to develop independence and self-confidence.

Upon request, Peer Tutors may provide large group assistance in preparation for exams. However, tutors must remain available to assist students in all assigned courses. Faculty with questions about this should reach out to Kim Rutledge, Learning Center Director, at kdrutledge@usfca.edu.