December 30, 2012

Tutoring cuts affect students

By Grace Huntsinger, Staff Writer, the Cuestonian, originally published on 10/16/12

Tutoring at Cuesta College has taken a hit in recent years. Hours and manpower in the tutoring center have been steadily declining due to school-wide budget cuts. “The labs have a lot of people. It’s like a class,” second year student Joaquin Mendez said. “There is not a lot individual help. There is one person for the group tutoring.” Mendez is one of many Cuesta students who need extra help in order to pass classes and make progress in a degree. One-on-one tutoring, since for this year it is not offered for any subject, only happens when only one student shows up per session. “I just know that it affected me because I couldn’t take my next class,” said third year Gaby Sepulveda.

Tutoring through Cuesta is offered at no cost to any student who needs it. However, “free” does not always mean “available” or “convenient,” according to Mary Hastings, Cuesta’s Tutorial Services supervisor. Students are only able to sign up for one, 50-minute tutoring session a week. Most of the time there are many students in these group sessions, creating a classroom environment in which some questions may not be addressed due to time restrictions, Mendez said.

Another deterrent for some students is that student demand is the driving force behind the classes that are offered in tutoring. “If I just have one student who wants tutoring for one class, they may not get tutoring,” said Hastings. While this is a process designed to reach the greatest number of students for the greatest amount of tutoring, a significant number of students fall through the system’s cracks because of it, according to Hastings. “I tried to maintain the status quo for as long as possible,” Hastings said. “We are having a paradigm shift in the program.” Many of the shifts within the department have to do with liquidating positions and combining programs in order to streamline the administrative side without affecting the students too much.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College

December 27, 2012

Campus Survey: Tutor Pay 2012

By Nalini Lasiewicz, BOL, Crossroads of Learning

The 2012 Tutor Pay survey conducted by Crossroads of Learning gathered information from college and university learning support centers in all fifty states. Among other results, state and federal minimum wage appear to be the primary driver for peer tutor compensation.

Background

In September 2012, a listserv discussion between Southern California Writing Center (IWCA) members focused on tutor compensation.  Intrigued with the relative consistency of the replies, the Crossroads staff went to work to expand that snapshot to include institutions of higher learning across the country, public and private.  We set up a survey and invited our Journal Digest readers, clients, students and colleagues to participate.  In addition, the survey link was shared with members of a diverse cross-section of tutorial center managers, academic specialists and trade associations.

When the poll closed, over 360 surveys had been received, representing all 50 states and Washington D.C..  No surveys were received from U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Marianas Islands and the Virgin Islands, an issue the research team would like to explore in the future.

The Tutor Pay Survey included basic demographic information about the respondents’ institution type, location and size.  We also asked for the average number of tutors and the starting pay for both peer tutors, defined as undergraduates, and professional tutors, defined as graduate students, outside professional tutors, staff and faculty.  Additionally, respondents provided information on additional compensation formulas, including tiered structures that offered pay increases based on time worked, training received, certification, etc.  Nearly half the centers reported giving no raises to their peer tutors.

For a free two-page summary tear sheet, with additional data and charts, click here.

Figure 1. Average number of peer tutors per respondent

Our consulting analyst, Anthony Garrison, MBA Candidate at Simon Business School, was instrumental in verifying the data and providing the statistical analysis.  He concluded the average starting salary for college level peer tutors across the country is within a close range, less than a $1.00 difference between the geographical regions.  In addition, we compared peer tutor starting wages with federal and state minimum wages and found a close correlation.  To see a map of the U.S. States with these correlations, click here.

Figure 2. Starting Pay: Peer Tutors

Figure 3. Starting Pay for Peer Tutors compared to minimum wage

In 2012 we learned through discussions with clients and at conferences that the demand for tutoring services on campus has increased, many reporting that the Fall semester was their busiest ever.  At the same time, education funding in many states has been scaled back; cutbacks in staffing and student support services are a serious challenge for what research shows are highly effective factors in increasing student success.  In this poll we did not delve into funding and budgeting issues but these are areas we plan to explore in the future.

In the next phase of this project, we will move beyond the basic question of “how much?” to examining factors, such as minimum wage, which have traditionally driven tutor compensation policies.  We hope to conduct research on the impact that compensation has on tutor recruitment, training, supervision and retention.

The complete data set of this poll is available to educators, college administrators and policy makers, at no cost.  To request, contact Nalini Lasiewicz, Registrar/Crossroads of Learning: 818 249-9692 xt 2, or email: nalini@crossroadsoflearning.com

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Admin/Management,College,Funding,Peer-Tutoring,Research,Tutoring Practices

December 26, 2012

Statewide online tutoring services extended to Cedarville, Urbana students

By Meagan Pant, Staff Writer, Dayton Daily News, originally published 10/18/12

Cedarville and Urbana universities are joining Ohio’s online tutoring network that offers students free help in writing, math and science. Forty-two colleges and universities statewide have joined the Ohio eTutoring Collaborative connecting their students with trained tutors. This year, all universities and colleges in the state were invited to join at no cost by the Ohio Board of Regents. The schools do pay for tutors.

The platform allows students to seek help outside of the hours a typical on-campus academic support center would be open. Students can chat live with a tutor, submit questions and receive feedback on paper assignments. Tutors are generally available from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. About 2,400 students used the service last year, out of the 134,587 who had access, according to the Board of Regents. Three years ago, the state launched the service as a pilot with five schools. Local participating schools also include: Central State University, Clark State, Edison and Sinclair community colleges, and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

“It’s slow, steady growth,” said Karen Boyd, eTutoring coordinator. Boyd met with coordinators from Cedarville, Central State, Edison and Urbana on Wednesday. Other meetings will be held throughout the state, as well. Gary Cates, senior vice chancellor at the Board of Regents, said he hopes the free tutoring allows students to get the academic help they need to stay in college and graduate. Half of the people who enter higher education in Ohio do not earn a degree.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Distance Learning,Technology

December 23, 2012

NIU Literacy Clinic provides tutoring in reading to elementary schools

Originally posted in NIU Today on10/16/2012

The NIU College of Education’s Literacy Clinic recently was authorized to provide tutoring services to DeKalb public school children who need help with reading, under a provision of the “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001.

The law stipulates that public schools which have failed to measure up to performance standards for more than one year in reading, language arts or math must provide “supplemental educational services” (SES) to struggling students from families that otherwise would not be able to pay for them. “NIU’s Literacy Clinic is delighted to be able to offer supplemental educational services in reading to the DeKalb community,” says its director, Laurie Elish-Piper, an NIU Presidential Teaching Professor in Literacy Education. “We strive to provide high-quality services and be a resource for schools, teachers, parents and children.”

Established 40 years ago, the NIU Literacy Clinic, part of the university’s College of Education (COE), offers programs leading to the reading teacher endorsement and the Type 10 K-12 Reading Specialist Certification through the Illinois State Board of Education. Elish-Piper notes that tutors provided through the clinic – many of them graduates of the COE’s Department of Literacy Education – hold either the ISBE Type 10 K-12 Reading Specialist Certificate or the ISBE Reading Teacher Endorsement. “They must be experienced reading teachers as well,” she adds.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,K-8

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