Tutoring Services

The following are the types of tutoring services available in the Peer Tutoring Program:

  • One-on-one tutoring by appointment: This is an individual tutoring session and must be requested at least 24 hours in advance. Each student may schedule a maximum of 2 one-on-one tutoring appointments per academic subject each week. One-on-one tutoring appointments can last up to one hour each.
  • Drop-ins: This walk-in service provides one-on-one or small group tutoring in various departments within the three new Colleges. Generally, if drop-in hours are offered, there is a designated place in the department where 2-4 tutors are available at designated times during each academic semester. The students who seek assistance are served on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Group Tutoring: Group tutoring occurs when a tutor leads a single session with a group of students who need assistance with the same material. Tutoring groups ideally include between 3-5 students enrolled in the same course. Students in need of a group tutoring session generally approach a tutor together. The tutor, who will need to be an expert in the subject area, will consult with the faculty member of the course and his/her supervisor for approval for approval to run the sessions. The effectiveness of group tutoring is based on collaborative learning where all members, guided by the tutor, are responsible for sharing their knowledge. Group tutoring usually takes place once a week at an agreed upon time and place on campus.
  • Study Groups: Study groups are informal, student-driven groups designed to review class material and/or solve problems related to a particular course. A study group typically includes 3-5 students enrolled in the same course. Any study group can invite a tutor to offer his/her expertise. Any tutor with expertise in the subject matter may lead a study group but must consult both his/her supervisor and the faculty member responsible for the course. Study groups usually take place before tests and/or exams at an agreed upon time and place on campus.
  • Recitations: These are weekly review or problem solving sessions offered in selected courses and sanctioned by the appropriate academic departments. Recitations are usually run by graduate students under the supervision of the faculty member responsible for the course. All students are encouraged to attend recitation sessions when they are offered. Attendance in recitation sessions is generally not mandatory; however in some courses they are an integral part of the course. Students should check the syllabus for their course to see whether recitation sessions are offered and if they are an option or a requirement of the course.
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI): SI sessions are facilitated by a trained tutor as an SI leader, and are designed to supplement, not replace class lectures. SI sessions are interactive and collaborative. The goal of a supplemental instruction is for students to be able to integrate how to learn with what to learn. Attendance is generally voluntary.
  • In-Class Tutoring: In-class tutoring takes place when a tutor is assigned to a class, or when an instructor invites a tutor to assist him/her to lead class discussions, perform demonstrations, give a presentation, and/or provide one-on-one instruction during problem solving. In addition, some tutors may be required to attend class sessions for the course they are responsible to tutor.
  • Designated Tutoring: This service is designed to assist NU undergraduate students who have been identified by their instructors or their academic advisors as potentially at risk of failing one or more courses during a semester. FACT (Faculty Advisor Communication Tool, formerly Early Warning System) is also used to identify students who are potentially at risk academically. Students who sign-up for designated tutoring are matched with a trained Designated Tutor whose job it is to build a professional relationship with the student, working together to capitalize on the student’s strengths and address the student’s weaknesses. A combination of content specific and non-content specific tutoring is used to support these students. Designated tutoring appointments take place on a regular basis at an agreed upon time and place on campus.
  • Workshops: The Peer Tutoring Program sponsors 2-4 workshops during the academic year. The workshops are open to all undergraduate students. Topics include critical thinking strategies, test taking, time management, coping with stress, and cultural diversity awareness.
  • Referrals: During a tutoring session, a student may present information or exhibit behavior indicating that s/he may be facing personal problems that seem to be consistently interfering with learning. In such cases, the tutors will not attempt to solve the problem, but rather will ask the student’s permission to bring the problem to the attention of his/her supervisor and/or the student’s academic advisor. The tutors are familiar with the range of professional services available at the University, and in this situation will refer the student to the appropriate office for assistance.