The University of San Francisco: Learning and Writing Center

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Faculty FAQs

How do my students book an appointment with a peer tutor?

The LWC provides peer tutoring in over 80 subjects each semester. To locate a tutor by subject and schedule an appoint students should follow the directions listed below:

  1. To enter TutorTrac:
    1. In USF Connect look under Quick Links for TutorTrac
    2. Log in with your USF Connect username and password
  2. Click on the Search Availabilities button on the right hand side of the screen
  3. From the Center drop-down menu select Learning Center
  4. Search by course by selecting from the Sections menu
  5. Click on the Search button
  6. Select an appointment from the schedule on the right and hit Save

Appointments can be booked no more than two weeks in advance and no less than 24 hours in advance.

What should my students do if there is not a tutor available?

When searching for appointments online, if there are no tutors or appointments available the student will be directed to complete a Tutor Request form. Students may also complete a Tutor Request form at the Learning & Writing Center front desk. Once the Learning Center receives a request we immediately begin to locate potential tutors by reaching out to our current tutors, faculty for the courses, and past sections of the class. When a tutor has been located we will contact the student to set up a first appointment. If we are unable to locate a tutor we work with the student to find alternatives.

What happens in a peer tutoring session?

Peer tutoring sessions are one hour. Together a tutor and their tutee set and develop strategies to achieve academic goals. Tutoring sessions provide guided practice on information taught by faculty and also provide an opportunity for students to make mistakes and check understanding in a non judgmental environment.Tutees bring to each session class notes and textbooks along with other material relevant to the work at hand. All sessions revolve around the students’ academic needs.Tutors are prohibited from teaching new/unfamiliar material to tutees.

When does tutoring begin/end each semester?

During the fall and spring semesters, tutoring will commence in the second week of the semester and end on Study Day, the day prior to the start of finals. Each semester on Study Day the Learning Center hosts Tutopalooza a large drop-in tutoring event that allows students to stop in to get their last minute questions answered. Limited peer tutoring is available during the summer sessions, however there is no peer tutoring during the winter intersession.

How do you decide for which courses to offer tutoring?

The Learning Center generally provides tutoring for many of the introductory courses required of freshmen or sophomores. For all other courses we hire based on student requests. Students may request a tutor either by visiting the Learning & Writing Center in Cowell 215 or by completing the online form.

What are the requirements to be considered for a peer tutoring position?

All peer tutors are full-time USF students who have completed at least a semester of study at USF. Tutors are those students who show dedication to their academics and maintain a Cumulative and Semester GPA of 3.0 or higher. To tutor for a specific course the applicant should have taken the course at USF, received an A- or above, and can produce a USF faculty letter of recommendation. All tutors are required to participate in ongoing tutor training during their time as an LWC peer tutor. To apply, applicants should complete an online application. If there is a need, the applicant will be contacted for an interview. Students interested in working as Language Tutors should complete an application with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages (MCL). Not all applicants or students referred by faculty will be hired.

How do students apply to become an LWC Peer Tutor?

All interested students must complete an online application to be considered for a position with the LWC. Applications are on the Learning Center website,, and can be found by clicking on the Job Opportunities link. Applicants are also asked to submit a resume at If there is need we will contact the applicant to set up an interview, otherwise we will keep the application on file for future needs.

How often can a student meet with their tutor?

All full-time USF students are eligible to meet with a peer tutor up to 3 hours in a 7 day period (Monday-Sunday, Wednesday-Tuesday, etc.) per subject. Appointments are one hour each and students are able to book one appointment per day per subject.

What kind of training do Peer Tutors Receive?

Learning & Writing Center Peer Tutoring program is certified by the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA). During their first semester with us tutors are required to participate in 11.5 hours of online and in-person training. Topics include Developing Study Strategies, Taking Advantage of Learning Styles, Diverse Needs of USF Students, and Effective Communication Skills, among others. Training provides our tutors with hands on experience and an opportunity to learn from their peers. Tutors who continue past their first semester remain engaged in 5 hours of training each semester.

How do I refer a potential Peer Tutor?

If you feel that a student would make an exemplary peer tutor, direct them to the online application posted in the Job Opportunities section of our website. You should also send a note of recommendation to the Learning Center Director at If we have a need for tutors with their specific knowledge base, we will invite them in for an interview. While we greatly appreciate faculty recommendations we cannot guarantee that we will be able to hire the student in question.

Why should I recommend peer tutoring over meeting with myself or a TA?

Peer tutoring is not meant to replace meeting with faculty or TAs, we are simply an additional resource. By meeting with a tutor regularly the student is carving out specific time at least once a week to focus on their course work outside of class. Peer tutors assist their tutees with the development of study skills and problem solving skills in an effort to develop independence and self-confidence.

Can I have a tutor assigned to work specifically with my class?

Upon request, tutors may provide large group assistance in preparation for exams. Tutors must remain available to assist students in all assigned courses.

Faculty FAQs for Supplemental Instruction

What is SI?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support program that targets historically difficult courses. SI is a non-remedial approach to learning enrichment that increases student performance and retention. SI offers regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions to all students enrolled in a targeted course. SI study sessions are informal seminars in which students review notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and prepare for examinations. Students learn how to integrate course content with reasoning and study skills.
© 2013 Curators of the University of Missouri.

What is an SI leader?

SI leaders are students themselves who have taken the class before and earned a high grade in the course. Faculty typically recommends the leaders who facilitate the SI sessions. SI leaders are prepared to share with students how to effectively study for the course. SI leaders attend the same class every day, taking notes and listening closely to the professor. The SI coordinating team trains them in how to be effective facilitators and receive ongoing supervision.
© 2013 Curators of the University of Missouri.

What is the difference between an SI Leader and a TA/GA?

An SI leader’s role is limited to providing academic support to students outside of the classroom. To prepare for their study sessions, leaders attend class to follow lecture and take notes, meet with the faculty to ask questions and discuss content, and develop outlines of topics and activities to best engage the students in the course topics. SI leaders are unable to lecture or re-lecture material, create homework assignments or exams, proctor exams, or grade homework assignments and exams.

How does it work?

At each session, the SI leader will guide the students through the course concepts. SI leaders will help students make good use of their time and share the strategies he or she used to be successful in the course.
SI leaders will not re-lecture, give out copies of his or her notes, help students with assigned homework, or encourage last minute test cramming.
© 2013 Curators of the University of Missouri.

When do sessions start?

SI sessions start the first or second week of class. SI leaders will pass out a short survey and ask students to mark their available times on the first day class. After reviewing the surveys, the SI leader will announce times and locations for sessions during the next class period. Each SI leader typically sets up two review sessions per week.
© 2013 Curators of the University of Missouri.

How can I get my classes involved in Supplemental Instruction?

If you feel that your students could benefit from working with an SI Leader, please email Kim Rutledge, Director of the Learning Center at

How can I get more information about the Supplemental Instruction Program?

If you are interested in learning more about the Supplemental Instruction program, visit the International Center of Supplemental Instruction at their official website.