Mt. San Antonio Community College has long recognized and used both tutoring and supplemental instruction to support its students' learning. Individual tutoring provides a student with clear structure and a technique for how to approach challenging material, while stimulating the learning process. A good tutor can help a student to develop the self awareness (meta-cognitive skills) needed to succeed in applying learning strategies independently. Similarly, supplemental instruction (or SI) is a peer-facilitated academic support program that attempts to improve student performance and retention by offering regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions. In early 2009, the Writing Center tried to combine the best elements of both with some specific writing support – and the Tutors in the Classroom concept was born!
The Tutors in the Classroom program is designed to support students' writing in three ways:
"Our TC was very open to suggestions and amenable in every situation. By the same token, she felt confident enough to oftentimes offer ideas from her perspective as a student-tutor to help me understand my students' ways of knowing and thinking."
"The program provided excellent support for pedagogy. I could count on the TC to conduct excellent tutoring sessions. The review of the lessons and the one-on-one TC-student assistance was a tremendous help to the students' comprehension of the assignments."
"My TC has been a great asset to this class. She has innovative ideas, and students relate to her well. In fact, students feel safe with her as their tutor."
"My TC really helped my confidence (in writing)! She would say, 'You're a great writer!' or 'That's a really good hook!' She helped me think critically and was very patient with me during our sessions. I appreciate her availability and willingness to help not only me but others in the class as well. She was awesome, truly inspiring, and a joy to have in class! I owe my success in this class to her!"
"The TC for our class was very informed on the subjects that we had to write about, which made it very easy for us to go to him for help. He knew exactly what people were struggling with!"
"My TC really understood what I needed help with in writing and was very helpful during our tutoring sessions."