One question Reinvention Team members often get is; “What are you working on that is going to help me?”
The question is a good one because it demonstrates that faculty and staff are genuinely concerned about improving what they are able to do in their jobs to help our students. Or when asked by students, the question looks for ways to help students understand how to get more out of their City Colleges experience.
During the spring semester, the Student Support and Services task force began to take a closer look at City Colleges’ processes to determine the best ways to make tutoring more available and effective for our students. In doing so, we hope to make recommendations that support the District mission by promoting consistency in management and delivery of services for our students. The areas we hope to address with tutoring are:
- Develop consistency of services
- Strengthen communication between college tutoring centers
- Train tutors and provide regular professional development opportunities
- Recommend assessment practices used by all colleges
- Implement GradesFirst in scheduling and providing student, advisor, and faculty feedback
- Investigate alternative tutoring options (e.g. online) available to assist students during weekends and evenings
As part of our efforts to fully understand the current tutoring services on each campus, we investigated current tutoring practices at all colleges, examined the multiple job descriptions for tutors, researched tutoring best practices at other institutions, explored professional development and training organizations specifically for tutors (particularly, National Tutoring Association and College Reading and Learning Association). We also conducted campus surveys and focus groups targeting students, college tutor coordinators, tutors, faculty and advisors. Finally, we explored some online tutoring options available for students. Through our research, information gathering, and analysis we will make recommendations that promote uniformity amongst the colleges in services and staffing, as well as increase greater communication among the various tutoring centers.
For example, one area we’re examining further is the disparities between tutoring staff among colleges. Some colleges have less than twenty tutors while others have over forty. Through our research efforts, we hope to examine the impact those numbers have on tutoring services and student retention and develop a formula for determining a more accurate tutor number. Additionally, the popularity and effectiveness of embedded classroom tutors will also play a factor in the tutor count as well as the ratio between student tutors and professional tutors.
Those are just a few things we hope to examine further this fall as part of our research efforts on tutoring. We hope in doing so that, for CCC students… Help is on the Way!
We need your continued help as well. So if you have suggestions, please share.
– Stephanie Owen, Student Support and Services Task Force