Instructional Support Services Program/Tutoring

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions About Tutoring

Questions About How to Get the Most Out of Tutoring

How do I apply for a tutor?

For tutoring in college-level science courses, drop by the Science Learning Center (SLC) in Gillet Hall, room 133, and fill out a tutor request form.

For tutoring in select humanities and social sciences courses (courses tutored in these disciplines vary semester-by-semester), writing and literacy skills, drop by the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) in the Old Gym Building, room 205, and fill out a tutor request form. You may also complete an online version of the form and fax it to the ACE at 718-960-7831.

Please note that if you need basic math tutoring (e.g. for the CUNY ACT Basic Skills Test in Mathematics), you must contact the Math Department's Math and Computer Science Lab for tutoring (718-960-8878). The ACE and SLC do not offer math tutoring.

What if I need a tutor immediately?

Both the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and the Science Learning Center (SLC) do accept walk-ins; however, we cannot guarantee a tutor will be available at a given time. Sometimes a tutoring slot becomes available if there is a cancellation.

We suggest calling the ACE (718-960-8175) or the SLC (718-960-7707), to inquire about the availability of tutors. We will do our best to accommodate you, depending on tutor availability.

Who are the ACE and SLC's tutors?

The ACE and SLC tutors are undergraduate and graduate student peer tutors, and non-students with qualifying credentials. All tutors have attained excellent grades in the courses they tutor or have other qualifying credentials and participate in regular staff development and training sessions certified by the College Reading and Learning Association.

How long is a tutoring session?

In general, sessions last fifty minutes in the ACE. Most tutoring at the ACE is one-on-one; students meet with their tutors once a week, and sometimes more frequently. In the SLC, tutoring occurs on a drop-in basis and sessions are not timed.

How do I prepare for tutoring sessions?

Come to the session prepared with questions. Before your session, as you're studying or working on an assignment, write a list of questions about what you don't understand in the reading, your notes from class, and/or assignments from your professor.

How do I know what questions to ask my tutor?

As you're studying or working on an assignment, jot down questions about what you don't understand in the reading, your notes from class, and/or assignments from your professor. Bring this list with you and ask your tutor your questions.

What is the best way to start a tutoring session?

Plan your session. At the beginning of your session, talk with your tutor for a few minutes about what you and he or she will work on during the session.

What should I do if I don't understand concepts or materials my tutor and I are working on?

Tell your tutor if you don't understand something, before you move forward to new material. Ask questions or try to put into clear words what you don't understand. State your understanding to check it with your tutor before moving forward.

How can I increase my motivation to work on assignments I don't find interesting or relevant?

Make your assignment more interesting or relevant by connecting it with what you already know, and your day-to-day life. Talk with your tutor about how textbook chapters and assignments relate to your thoughts and every day, memorable experiences. Engage in dialogue with your tutor about relevant ideas and implications of your assignments that interest you. Talk with your tutor about what you already know relating to the assignment. Ask your tutor how you can tie in what you already know to the work you're doing on your assignment.

Can I ask for certain tutors, if I find someone I work well with?

Yes. Get to know your tutor. Once you find a tutor you feel comfortable working with, meet with that tutor regularly. Please note, however we are not always able to honor requests for appointments with specific tutors.

How can I help myself remember what I worked on with a tutor?

Review. Before the end of the session, review the work you did with your tutor. Then plan ahead. If you are going to meet with your tutor again, before the session ends, talk with him or her about what you will work on next time.

What should I do in between my tutoring sessions?

As soon as you can after a session, review what you have accomplished and use what you have learned, in conjunction with the strategies and tips your tutor provided. Make a well thought out study schedule, and remember to maintain it. Remember that preparing to study can often be as important as studying. Review the course material for 45-60 minutes, and allow for 5-10 minute breaks in between to relax your mind. A rule of thumb is that for every class hour, you might need to spend two out of class hours studying. Practice, practice, practice.

If I have questions or concerns about my experiences in the SLC or the ACE, what do I do?

Ask the person at the front desk of the center you are visiting to direct you to a staff member who can help you.

Last modified: Apr 16, 2014

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