Information For Faculty & Staff
- The Tutoring Program
- Eligibility for Tutoring
- The Role of Tutoring in the Learning Process
- On Becoming A Tutor: Qualifications Requirements
- Finding and Selecting Tutors
- The Instructor-Tutor Relationship
- Why There May Not Be Tutors For Every Course
- Facilitated Learning Session Request Form
MiraCosta College offers a comprehensive, free peer tutoring program for any student enrolled in a course at the college. The purpose of the program is to enhance student retention and success by providing academic assistance to students having difficulty with subject matter and/or study skills.
Tutoring is provided in about 200 courses across the credit curriculum by a staff of 50 - 65 tutors each semester. Services are available at both the Oceanside and San Elijo campuses whenever classes are in session. Tutoring is provided by individual appointment in the tutoring centers and on a drop-in basis (check with tutoring center for a current schedule of drop-in tutoring). Students wanting to make an appointment to see a tutor may do so in person or by phone. Appointments are scheduled a minimum of 24 hours in advance, to allow tutors time to prepare, and usually last 50 minutes. About 500 hours of tutoring are available each week, both day and evening, Monday - Friday.
At the Community Learning Center we offer free tutoring for GED, English, ESL, Citizenship, Adult High School Diploma, study and test taking skills. Help is available on a drop-in or appointment basis Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. in the Academic Support Room.
Students seek tutoring on a voluntary basis. No student is required to be tutored, although faculty often strongly encourage the use of the services. Students who utilize tutoring have higher success, retention, and re-enrollment rates than those who do not.
Tutoring is available for students needing help with:
- the course material
- study skills
Any student enrolled in a MiraCosta College course and attending class regularly is eligible for free tutoring. Students will render themselves ineligible for continued tutoring in a given semester if they fail to appear for two appointments.
Students may make one appointment per course at a time. They are asked to wait until the conclusion of the tutoring appointment before making another appointment for the same course, which may not be scheduled for at least 48 hours. Students may schedule up to two appointments per week per course.
The tutoring relationship is intended to be a temporary one in which the tutor guides the student towards independent learning. A student who comes to regard a tutor as an essential crutch for a protracted period of time is probably overly dependent on the service and will be assisted in becoming more self-sufficient. Tutors are trained not to do the work for students but rather to challenge them to think for themselves and to guide them to course mastery and success as students.
The help that tutors provide will supplement, not supplant, classroom instruction. Tutors do not teach new material; rather, they will assist students in learning the material already presented by the instructor.
Tutors are hourly student employees and are paid at the District rate.
Students wishing to be considered as tutors must meet the following qualifications:
- Have earned a B or A in the course(s) they want to tutor.
- Be recommended or approved by the instructor(s) who taught them the course(s) they want to tutor.
- Be available 10-19 hours a week at hours that meet program needs and do not conflict with the student's own class schedule. The amount of time a tutor works will vary according to her/his availability, the demand for tutoring in a particular course, and the number of courses he/she tutors.
- Be eligible for employment by the District.
- Be available to participate in tutor training the first semester on the job. Tutor training is mandated by state code.
Towards the end of each spring term, the tutoring program asks instructors to recommend qualified students from their classes. We will select tutors for the next school year before it starts so they are ready to help students at the beginning of term and can train early in the semester.
Tutors benefit from instructor support and we encourage you be accessible to them, give them a copy of your current syllabus, and update them on any changes in course content or textbooks since they took your course. Tutors can also provide you with helpful information about the types of difficulties students are experiencing in a given course that semester.
Tutors are also the program's best ambassadors. Thus, they are also directed to ask you if they may visit your classes early in the semester to introduce themselves to students and explain briefly how to use tutorial services. Hearing about the program from a peer is a powerful way to lower barriers of fear and ignorance that often make students reluctant to ask for help. Please welcome tutors into your classrooms briefly to supplement announcements we will have asked you to make early each semester telling students about the tutoring program.
While tutors are available for about 130 courses in the credit curriculum, there will be some courses for which there are no tutors in a given semester. There are several possible reasons for this.
One reason may be that there have been no requests for tutoring in a particular course. If there is no demand for tutoring, the program will not staff in that course, since it would mean hiring and training a tutor for whom there is no work.
Occasionally no qualified students can be found to tutor a course, regardless of the demand for services. It may be that promising candidates transfer after completing the course. It may be that the field of candidates one semester is small and no suitable or interested students emerge.
Sometimes the number of requests per semester is insufficient to make it worthwhile for a tutor to commit to tutoring one course alone. Courses that average requests for an hour or two a week fall into this category. In this case, the program seeks to meet the need by trying to identify a student who can tutor other courses as well, so that there is enough work to make it worth a commitment to the job. In this way, we meet the need for tutoring while making realistic staffing decisions.
What Is A Facilitated Learning Session
The concept of Facilitated Learning Sessions is rooted in "best retention practices". We utilize veteran tutors as facilitators of group sessions. Student groups meet weekly for academic support sessions linked to specific classes. Faculty, staff, and students work collaboratively to critically analyze course content and improve understanding of complex material. Students have the opportunity to become actively involved in the course material and to discover study and test preparation strategies appropriate for the course.