Embedded tutoring is one service offered by the Meredith College Learning Center for students. Faculty, students, and tutors benefit from the opportunity to be embedded because it builds an academic community at Meredith College. Our embedded tutoring program started in May of 2020 as a response to dwindling individual sessions amidst a global pandemic. The first year of the program had very mixed results, but faculty and the Learning Center agree that we should continue to try different strategies to make embedded tutoring work across the board because the goals of embedded tutoring align with the mission and values of the Learning Center.
Embedded tutoring seeks to locate tutors and tutoring services where the students are. This proximity allows us to strive for the following goals:
Address the learning needs of ALL students in the class, not just those who self-select for tutoring services.
Collaborate more closely with the professor in the class to promote student learning and tutor professional development.
Build an academic learning community across campus that values collaboration as central to learning and knowledge.
Close the equity gap in academic performance at the college.
Support the college’s retention efforts and increase the graduation rate.
At Meredith College, embedded tutoring refers to trained Learning Center tutors being added to Brightspace, our learning management system. The tutor is there to build relationships with ALL members of the class, promote individual tutoring services, and offer course-specific assistance, such as workshops, review sessions, or drop-in hours. Tutors are encouraged to attend class at least once in the semester to introduce themselves and explain their role; however, it is possible to embed one or more tutors in a class who have conflicts during the actual class time. All tutors who are embedded have been recommended by faculty in that discipline. They may have taken the class at Meredith; however, they may have demonstrated credentials from other classes or institutions.
In collaboration with the professor, embedded tutors may:
Engage in class activities and discussions as a fellow student, a model student per se
Facilitate small group discussion or activities
Offer the perspective of a more experienced peer during class, in review sessions, or in individual appointments
Assist students in effectively utilizing software, tools, technology, etc.
Prepare review sessions, activities, or model materials for students
Work with individual students outside of the class time
Work with small groups or the whole class in drop-in or review sessions outside of class time
Embedded tutors should NOT:
Teach new concepts
Lead the class without the instructor present
Grade or do assignments for students
Enforce classroom management or discipline
Function as a personal or teaching assistant (prepare lessons, run errands, photocopy materials, etc.)
Tutors are PAID for all time that they spend working on communicating with students, attending class or preparing videos for class, preparing materials for workshops or reviews, and facilitating workshops or reviews.
(Note - Right now, the budget allows for tutors to spend around three hours a week on embedded tutoring ON AVERAGE. Some weeks, tutors might spend five hours; other weeks, they might not have any embedded tutoring duties for that class.)
The Learning Center operates in partnership with the faculty. Students are much more likely to make an appointment with a tutor when a faculty member has recommended it; thus, without faculty support, the Learning Center would not be able to do the work that it does. We appreciate the opportunity to supplement instruction with our one-on-one and small group tutoring sessions!
In 2019-2020, the Learning Center began a content-area liaison program for the four highest-demand content areas: writing, math (calculus and statistics), chemistry, and Spanish. Content-area liaisons help to keep the academic departments informed of Learning Center activity and provide initial and ongoing professional development for tutors in that area. Our liaisons are:
Writing: Tina Romanelli
Math: Julie Kolb
Chemistry: Cassie Lilly
Spanish: Callie DeBellis
Please feel free to reach out to your liaison if you have questions or concerns about tutoring in one of these areas. Of course, regardless of content area, the Learning Center desires partnerships with all faculty. If you would like to share ideas or ask questions about the Learning Center, please email Tina Romanelli.
The Meredith College Learning Center is a College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) certified tutor training program. The tutor training course (IDS: 155) runs once per semester and provides one hour of credit to students who successfully complete the course requirements.
In order to be considered for the course, students must obtain a faculty recommendation, complete an application, and interview with the director of the Learning Center. Faculty recommendations can be provided through this form.
Please consider perusing the list of current tutors to see if you can recommend any tutors for an additional subject area using this form.
We ask that all faculty who are recommending students review our mission and values before completing the form. It is important to note that the best students do not always make the best tutors and that tutoring requires interpersonal skills and critical thinking beyond what is necessary for success in the classroom. In general, it is preferable to train sophomores or juniors for tutoring because of the time and energy that go into maintaining a high level of training.
The following charts provide more information about these sessions.
The four subject areas with the largest demand are writing, Spanish, chemistry, and mathematics (both calculus and statistics). These four content areas make up more than 75% of the total sessions.
While September and October are always busy months in the Learning Center, the unprecedented events of the Spring 2020 semester drastically reduced the expected number of sessions for March and April. The average of the four previous March session totals is 315 sessions: March 2020's total is 164. The average of the four previous April session totals is 429: April 2020's total is 238.
The Learning Center trained and piloted online appointments in Summer 2019, but Spring 2020 saw the first major increase in online appointments.