requires tutors with significantly more training and skill
in teaching others. Martin St.
Clair, faculty advisor at Coe
College (Cedar Rapids, IA), reports that many more of Coe’s general
and organic chemistry students took advantage of their local tutoring than did students taking physical chemistry. However, chapter
officers still sought to schedule junior- and senior-level tutors
who could help with a wide range of course material, including all
advanced chemistry courses.
Not all students who have earned a passing grade in a course
are cut out to teach others the material. Several chapter advisors
suggested having a knowledgeable faculty member check the list of
potential tutors to screen out students who might be better suited
for another area of service. Set some minimum criteria for tutoring,
such as having a 3.0 grade point average in all chemistry courses or
an A or B in the course tutored. Volunteers need to understand that
their commitment to tutoring is above and beyond their normal
coursework. Some students who are particularly overburdened
with coursework or other extracurricular activities should be encouraged to put off tutoring until they
have a lighter schedule.
Questions #4 and #5: When and where?
There are many ways to schedule a tutoring program— some
flexible and some more formal. The simplest scheduling system
would involve posting a list of volunteers, courses tutored, contact
information, and hours available. Each student contacts a tutor to
set up a time and place. This type of system requires very little oversight. It also helps ensure that the time of each tutor is not wasted
by sitting in a room during slow times with no students to help.
However, posting a list of tutors this way might mean that a student has to call five or six tutors to find one who is not already fully
booked. This might discourage some students from really seeking
out help if they give up after the first or second call.
Many chapters opt to
staff a certain room on
campus with qualified
tutors for a set number
of hours during the week.
These types of programs allow students to “drop in” whenever
help is needed, and without having to arrange for an appointment
ahead of time. Nicholas Greco, faculty advisor at Western Connect-
icut State University (Danbury), initially made the mistake of trying
to overmanage a tutoring schedule by assigning tutors for every
hour of every day. At busier times during the semester, this type
of scheduling can become burdensome for chapter officers and
advisors. Greco advises building in some flexibility from the start.
He explains, “Perhaps instead
of set hours, have a location
on campus (the student
chapter meeting room or
‘hangout’) where students
will be available most
of the time, with
others available by
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