Small Group Tutoring FAQ

How does small group tutoring work and what should I expect sessions to be like?

Students work with a peer tutor in a small group of 4–6 students, who are all in the same course and have the same professor. Groups meet two times per week (no exceptions), every week throughout the semester (except the week of Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and finals week). Sessions are 50 minutes long so that students can make their next class.

Tutoring sessions are held Monday–Thursday, during the day or evening, and Fridays, during the day, and are conducted in via Zoom. 

Course material is not “re-taught” to students in the traditional sense. Instead, tutors use the course material to help students to develop learning strategies and study skills necessary for college level learning. Tutors facilitate hands-on activities that require students to work with and manipulate the concepts. As a result, students develop a better understanding of the course material, effective strategies to implement as a student, and stronger critical thinking skills.

When will I get assigned to a group?

We ask for patience as adjustments may have to be made to tutors’ schedules and the program may need to hire and train additional tutors. Given that students’ and tutors’ schedules have numerous demands (classes, work, extracurricular activities, etc.), this process can take time. If you have not heard from the Tutor Program within ten business days, and would like to check the status of your request, please call the office at 581.2351.

Once assigned, you will receive a text message telling you to check your maine.edu email for an assignment email. The email will include the tutor’s name, the days/times/Zoom link of the group sessions, and the mandatory start date.

Please note: Group times are subject to change in order to fill groups and accommodate the demand for tutoring. This is avoided when possible, but sometimes is necessary, given the available resources.

What are my responsibilities before and during the first group session?

Bring ALL books and materials relevant to the course (i.e., the course syllabus, class notes, tests, reading assignments, etc.). Reminder, students are required to have the text(s) for the course in which they are requesting a tutor.

At the first session students will read and sign the Tutoring Contract.

Missing the first session constitutes being dropped from small group tutoring. 

What are my responsibilities for tutoring throughout the semester?

Attend all classes, recitations, and labs. Tutoring is not to be used as a substitute for attending class.

Go prepared to every session. This includes attending class, completing all reading and homework assignments, as well as completing work assigned by the tutor. Tutoring sessions are not homework sessions.

Given the volume of work and the speed at which the semester progresses, students cannot afford to miss or to be unprepared for tutoring sessions. Students who do not meet these responsibilities may lose their tutoring privileges for the semester.

If you know you will be absent for a session, please call the Tutor Program and email your tutor in advance. Services will be discontinued at three missed sessions*.

 *If there are extenuating circumstances, please contact the Tutor Program office at 581.2351. 

Will my instructor know I am being tutored?

The Tutor Program does not notify instructors of students using services, however both tutors and students are encouraged to meet with instructors. The intent is to clarify expectations of the instructor, understand course prerequisites, and acknowledge how tutors may best assist their groups. Instructors are considered the primary resource for information and assistance for any course. Working with instructors may well eliminate the need for tutoring.         

What if I get a job, add/drop a course, or change my grade status to audit or pass/fail?

Any changes to the class/work schedule made during the initial sign-up need to be communicated to the Tutor Program office as soon as possible. Please understand these changes may delay you from being assigned to a group. Students are no longer eligible for tutoring once they change their grade option to audit or pass/fail.  

What if I do not like my tutor or the group dynamics?

If there are concerns about the progress of the group, group dynamics, or program philosophy, please first share these concerns with the tutor. It is difficult for tutors to make changes if they are not aware of a problem. If the concerns persist or become more serious, contact the Tutor Program office at 581-2351 to schedule an appointment with the Associate Director of College Success Programs.

How can I get the most out of my tutoring experience? Should I be concerned if I do not see immediate progress?

To get the most out of tutoring sessions, be an active participant. Tutoring can increase an overall understanding of the material and help improve course grades depending upon the time, energy, effort, and commitment made to the learning process. Progress is made by working and learning together over a period of time.

Does tutoring occur during breaks and finals week?

No tutoring occurs during the week of Thanksgiving because of many schedule related issues due to the break. There is no tutoring during Spring Break and finals week.

If classes are cancelled due to inclement weather or campus power outages, tutoring is also cancelled.

What if I no longer want or need to be tutored?

The Tutor Program’s goal is for each student to develop successful study skills and learning strategies, so that they no longer require academic assistance. To be removed from a group, please notify the Tutor Program AND your tutor. 

How can I give feedback to the Tutor Program about my tutoring experience?

A evaluation is sent to all students receiving small group tutoring, when they have been active in a group for four weeks. The purpose is to assess the degree of satisfaction with tutoring. Comments remain confidential.