The University Tutoring Center (UTC) provides academic support and resources to help CBU students succeed in their lower-division coursework. The UTC offers peer tutoring in one-on-one, group, and supplemental instruction models. Tutoring is available on an appointment or drop-in basis at no additional cost to students. The UTC also works in partnership with university departments, colleges, and schools to assist students in meeting academic goals while participating in such programs. Additional services include academic coaching, workshops, study support, and make-up exams.
The UTC cultivates guiding and encouraging relationships between the tutor and the student, to assist students in reaching their highest cognitive potential. The UTC provides the necessary conditions for students to develop and learn while being guided by knowledgeable peers in their respective disciplines. By helping students discover and develop metacognitive skills, students become self-regulated/independent learners. Tutors support the learning process of students in these 4 ways: verbalizing the cognitive process, challenging and supporting students, understanding culture, and scaffolding the thinking process.
Verbalize the Cognitive Process
Peer tutoring occurs in conversational interactions. By verbalizing the metacognitive process, the tutor and students share in a conversation which can develop both parties. The conversation is usually guided by questioning e.g. “What does this topic remind you of?” “Do you already know about this subject?” “What do you think the answer might be?” Successful tutors build rapport with students through conversations that result in openness and trust as a foundation for learning to happen.
Challenge and Support Students
Drawing further on Vyotsky’s theory of proximal development, learners do best when they are guided through challenges by those who have skills and knowledge the leaner is developing. Peer tutors provide the necessary support to bridge the gap in conceptual understanding to assist learners in reaching their highest learning potential.
A tool for learning. Tutors have the educational experience to communicate to students the practical and cognitive skills necessary to succeed within an institutional culture. Tutors help students understand how to navigate cultural expectations and adopt the necessary vocabulary, habits, and behaviors to succeed in the university.
Scaffold the Thinking Process
Through the questioning in verbalizing cognitive process, the tutor learns the student’s cognitive patterns and discovers what the student understands on their own. This process informs the tutor how to proceed. As a peer who has mastered the concept/s, the tutor uses their knowledge to guide the student toward their highest potential.