Questions about tutoring

General FAQs for tutees

How do I apply to become a tutor? 

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, visit our application page. Login using your LakerNet ID and password, then follow the instructions to fill out a tutor application. The following items are required to complete your application:

  • An essay expressing why you would like to be a tutor.
  • A minimum of two faculty recommendations from the discipline(s) for which you are applying.

The tutoring department will contact you if a position is available.

What is Drop-in tutoring?

Drop-in tutoring sessions do not require an appointment; tutors will be on-site and ready to assist students as they arrive.

What is appointment-based tutoring?

Appointment-based tutoring allows for one-on-one sessions between a tutor and tutee. The majority of the tutoring that takes place through OLS is appointment-based. To schedule a tutoring appointment, please visit TracCloud.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

Tutees can cancel their own appointments in one of three ways.  Tutees may cancel via Tutortrac, by emailing or by calling the office at 315-312-2571.  Appointments that are cancelled with fewer than three hours notice will be marked as a no-show. 

Will a tutor teach me the material I need to get a good grade?

Tutoring is not teaching. Teaching is the process of bestowing new knowledge unto a student while tutoring is the process of helping a student to understand and retrieve the knowledge that they have already been exposed to. Tutoring is not a substitute for class attendance. If you have missed class, please visit your professor during office hours. Tutors do not guarantee grades. Tutors do guarantee productive tutoring sessions with positive learning outcomes that will assist you in achieving your goals.    

How should I prepare for a tutoring session?

Tutees should bring their class textbook, class notes, assignments, quizzes or exams and any other resources that will help the tutor help them. It is also important to know your assignment prior to your tutoring session. Attempt the homework assignment before the tutoring session and bring what you have done with you. Be prepared to ask specific questions about the things you need help with, or anything that you and your professors have talked about during office hours.

Can I contact my tutor for help any time?

It is acceptable to contact your tutor via email to share information pertaining to a session. Tutoring sessions are most productive when both the tutor and tutee are prepared. At times, tutors will email links, helpful videos, or other thoughtful follow ups after a session. These "off the clock" communications are strictly voluntary; tutors are not obligated to assist students beyond scheduled sessions. 

Will tutors complete my homework lab, test correction, etc. for me?

No. Under no circumstance should students ever ask or expect a tutor to complete any work for them in accordance to SUNY Oswego Policy on Intellectual Integrity. It is the tutee's responsibility to disclose whether an assignment is for a grade or not. Best practice in tutoring uses assignments as a guide for establishing learning objectives. For example, a tutor will examine the assignment, recognize the content and create practice problems and explanations for the topic. At no time with the tutor and tutee work directly on the assignment. 

What do I do if I have an issue or a conflict with a tutor?

If there is a conflict or other concerns, please contact the OLS director or OLS professional staff immediately so that a positive and confidential outcome can be reached as soon as possible. 

Writing FAQs for tutees

Is drop-in writing tutoring available?

Yes, log in to TutorTrac using your LakerNet ID and password. Follow the directions under the Instruction tab for information on how to request a writing tutor.

What should I bring to a session with a writing tutor?

Bring a hard copy of your draft and any preliminary writing steps. Be sure to bring the instructor's assignment and any other course materials. Be prepared to discuss the topic and identify challenges so the tutor will understand the paper's direction.

Can I drop off a paper or email a paper to a tutor?

No. We are not an editing service. To get the best out of a tutorial session, a face-to-face dialogue between the tutor and you is essential: an effective paper begins and ends with effective dialogue.

Is it in my best interest to plan ahead and make an appointment with a writing tutor?

Yes. Plan ahead and schedule a tutorial session in advance. We do provide drop-in tutoring if a tutor does not have a scheduled appointment. Tutorial appointments fill quickly; therefore, you should make appointments whenever possible to guarantee sessions. Furthermore, since the process for writing assignments is often demanding, we encourage you to plan on meeting with a tutor a few times.   

How often can I meet with a writing tutor?

You can schedule a maximum of one, 60 minute appointment per day with a total of three appointments per week. 

Can a writing tutor help me get started with a paper?

Yes. Bring the instructor's writing assignment directions to the tutorial session. Tutors will help you interpret the assignment and get started organizing your thoughts.

What do I do if I need to cancel a writing tutor appointment?

To cancel a writing appointment, log-in to TutorTrac using your LakerNet ID and password.  Click Search Availability to find the appointment that you made. Click the "x" in the corner of the box to cancel the appointment. You should try to cancel appointments three or more hours in advance.

Does the Writing Center contact my instructor after I meet with a writing tutor?

No. Writing tutoring is voluntary, and tutors are not required to correspond with instructors.

General FAQs for tutors

Do I have to take GST 308?

All new tutors are required to enroll in GST 308. GST 308 is a two-credit course aimed at improving your abilities as a tutor. Learning objectives for the course are as follows: 

  1. To provide supplemental academic support by engaging tutees in developing study techniques and strategies.
  2. To strengthen the relationship between tutor, faculty, community and OLS in providing timely services to students.
  3. To advance the tutor's knowledge of the college's strategic goals to improve retention and persistence of students attending Oswego.

If you are a returning tutor, you do not need to repeat the course.

No. Tutors employed by OLS are only required to satisfactorily complete GST 308 during their first semester employed. 

How many hours a week can I tutor?

OLS requires tutors to be available for a minimum of 6 hours per week. Tutors may schedule  maximum of 16 hours per week. 

How much are tutors paid?

Undergraduate tutors are paid $13 per hour while graduate tutors earn $15 per hour. 

Should I have taken the courses I wish to tutor?

Together, you and the center director will determine which courses you will be able to tutor based on your transcript, grades, experience and interests. 

Can I make arrangements to meet tutees in my residence hall room or off campus?

No. Tutoring appointments must be held with the physical space of OLS. 

Am I obligated to help my tutees outside of paid tutoring sessions?

No. Tutors are not obligated to provide assistance outside of drop-in or scheduled sessions. 

What do I do if I have an issue or a conflict with a tutee?

If there is a conflict or other concerns, please contact the OLS director or OLS professional staff immediately so that a positive and confidential outcome can be reached as soon as possible. 

Can I tutor in more than one center?

Yes. Tutors are welcome to tutor in more than one center as long as you are qualified. Many tutors work in two or more centers for OLS. 

What do I do if I am unable to report for work?

If you unable to attend your scheduled session, notify the OLS front desk by calling (315.312.2571), email or text the Remind App as soon as possible. 

FAQs for faculty

A student contacted me asking for a recommendation. What should I do?
  1. You will recieve a link form eRes Life, if a student listed you as a recomender.
  2. Follow the instructions to fill out a recommendation.
A student did well in my class. How do I recommend the student to become a tutor?
  1. Email the student suggesting that they should apply at the Office of Learning Services. 
  2. Students should log-in using their LakerNet ID and password, then follow instructions to fill out a tutor application.
  3. If the student accepts your offer, follow the above instructions to submit a recommendation for the student.
What courses are offered for tutoring?

Courses offered for peer tutoring change with tutor avaialbity. An up-to-date- list of tutored courses can be found on the STEM Center page and Tutoring Center page.

What if I have a student who needs assistance with writing?

Writing assistance is provided by the Writing Center. Writing tutors are available to assist students throughout the entire writing process, helping them to understand the nature of the assignment, the stylistic aspects of the assignment and discipline, as well as teach them how to produce well-written English.

Can I reference OLS in my syllabus?

YES! We are happy to assist as many students as possible, and we appreciate any efforts to spread awareness of our tutoring services on campus.