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Peer Tutoring

The Learning Services Peer Tutoring Program has received Level I Certification through the College Reading and Learning Association's International Tutor Training Program Certification, and our student tutors are regarded as some of the most helpful individuals on campus.

Apply to be a Peer Tutor

Supporting your peers through peer tutoring is a way to gain valuable teaching skills and share and reinforce your knowledge in a subject area while you earn money in college.

In order to complete the Peer Tutor Application Process, you must do the following:

  • Schedule an interview with Associate Director of Learning and Success Kristin Sites. This interview is mandatory in order for you to gain approval from Mrs. Sites before you may begin seeing tutees for the academic year.
  • Complete the application, including an up-to-date list of courses you wish to tutor.
  • Obtain a signature from the faculty member who was your instructor for each of the courses you would like to tutor. If your original instructor is unavailable (i.e. no longer works at Mount St. Mary’s or is on sabbatical or other leave), you must obtain a signature from another appropriate faculty member in that department who can speak to your knowledge of the material.
  • Familiarize yourself with the following job expectations for peer tutors.

Peer Tutor Job Expectations and Requirements:

  1. Tutors will have received a grade of B+ or higher in any courses they wish to tutor or must have placed beyond the level of a particular course or courses through a University placement process or the Advanced Placement exam given by the College Board.
  2. Tutors must also receive the endorsement of a faculty member for each course (this should be the instructor who taught the potential tutor if possible – see note above).
  3. Tutors should be prepared to set up regular tutoring sessions with assigned tutees and to maintain tutoring relationships with those students throughout the semester.
  4. Tutors are expected to attend an initial 6-hour training session and any other training sessions or meetings throughout the year as required.
  5. Tutors should maintain regular contact with Learning Services staff to discuss the progress of individual tutees and to report any difficulties that arise during the tutoring process.
  6. Tutors must complete all required Human Resources and Learning Services paperwork as needed, including payroll sheets and tutoring logs (completed every other week).

Tutoring Services Contract - Tutor Responsibilities

The tutor has the responsibility to:

  1. Schedule and keep individual appointments with all students assigned to you. Wait at least 15 minutes for each scheduled tutoring session; if the student does not keep the appointment, note that on your log and notify the Peer Tutor Coordinator. If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, make other arrangements with your scheduled student as soon as possible.
  2. Work with Learning Services staff members and instructors regarding any obstacles the student is having which hamper the effectiveness of the tutoring.
  3. Fulfill the routine requirements of the job, such as: conducting the arranged tutoring sessions, getting basic information about each of the students, turning in the appropriate paperwork and time sheets promptly, and attending tutoring training as necessary.

Email tutors@msmary.edu or call 301-447-5133.

Peer Tutor FAQs

We've got answers to the most frequently asked questions about Peer Tutoring:

Do I have to pay for Peer Tutoring?

No. Peer Tutoring (and most all of Learning Services' programs) are offered at no additional cost to the students, so long as students are currently enrolled in courses at the Mount.

Can I get a Peer Tutor for content not connected to a Mount course (i.e. preparation for standardized examinations)?

No. Peer Tutors cannot be provided at this time for non-Mount courses or for content not related to coursework (i.e. preparation for the GRE, LAST, GMAT, PRAXIS, or MCAT). Students can only request tutors for Mount courses in which they are currently enrolled.

Does Learning Services have writing tutors?

No. Learning Services Peer Tutors are not writing tutors. They can assist students with understanding course content as it relates to writing assignments, and can often assist with the pre-writing process for an assignment (i.e. outlining or organizing content), but they are not trained on English grammar or the finer points of essay writing. The Writing Center offers tutors who can assist students with developing their overall writing skills.

What happens after I turn in the Peer Tutoring Request Form?

Peer Tutoring Request Forms go to Kristin Sites, the head of the Peer Tutoring program. The request is processed and Mrs. Sites determines if a tutor is available for that course and which tutor is best for the student’s needs. No matter the answer, you should receive an email regarding your tutor request within a week.

What should I do if I don't hear from anyone more than a week after completing a Peer Tutoring Request Form?

Don’t panic, but please contact Kristin Sites to find out the status of your tutoring request.

How will Learning Services and/or my tutor contact me?

Learning Services and/or your tutor will send you an email with your tutor's name and contact information. You will be contacted using the contact information that you provided in the request form (i.e. emailing, texting, calling).

How do I schedule tutoring appointments?

You let your tutor know what times work best for you, and the two of you plan out sessions accordingly. You can set regular tutoring times or just make appointments when needed. Please give your tutor ample notice if you would like to schedule a new appointment or if you cannot make a scheduled appointment.

How often can I see my Peer Tutor?

For the most part, students see their Peer Tutor(s) as much or as little as is needed for success in the course. If students want consistent help, they can meet with their Peer Tutor regularly each week, typically for about one to two hours over the course of each week. Some weeks may require more hours if the student has a project, paper, or examination that takes a lot of preparation time. Please remember, however, that tutoring is supplemental, and students should always feel free to seek assistance directly from their course instructors.

Does my professor know that I am getting a tutor?

No, instructors are not informed of tutoring requests/assignments unless you ask us to inform the professor. Learning Services attempts to maintain the privacy of all tutees unless the tutee gives us permission to discuss his or her tutoring. However, there are certain situations where Learning Services does have to report tutoring activities for the academic well being of the tutee (i.e. with administrators, advisers, and athletic coaches).

What do I do if I have issues with my tutor or if things just aren't working out?

Contact Kristin Sites and let her know your concerns. She can try to contact your tutor to resolve the situation, or she can attempt to assign you to a new tutor if one is available.

What are Peer Tutoring Evaluations, and when do I have to do this?

All students who are assigned a peer tutor during a semester must complete a Peer Tutoring Evaluation for each assigned tutor at the end of that semester, even if the student does not meet with his or her assigned tutor. These evaluations will be distributed via email as a link to an online survey, typically sent out to students about four weeks before the end of each semester. Feedback on the evaluations is kept anonymous; you provide your name with the evaluations only to ensure completion. Failure to complete an evaluation for each tutor assigned will cause a student to be placed on Tutoring Probation for the following semester.

What is Tutoring Probation?

Tutoring Probation is a status on which a student is placed if he or she fails to uphold one or more tenets of the Tutoring Services Contract (.pdf), to which all students agree when they sign up to get a Peer Tutor. A student on Tutoring Probation is allowed to receive tutoring for that semester, but he or she must take care not to break any terms of the contract during the probationary semester. If a student currently on Tutoring Probation breaks the contract again during the probationary semester (including failing to complete a Peer Tutoring Evaluation for the second semester in a row), that student will not be allowed to receive tutoring for a period of at least one full semester.

How long does Tutoring Probation last?

Probation lasts for one academic semester. If at the end of that semester, the student has done everything he or she is supposed to do with regard to the Tutoring Services Contract (.pdf) (including submitting the needed Peer Tutoring Evaluations), then that student will be taken off of Tutoring Probation for the next semester. Problems occur only when students break the contract during two consecutive semesters (fall and spring). Summer semesters do not count in the probationary period because the format of tutoring is different during the summer.