Our Guiding Principles

Tutoring Services promotes excellence!

The provision of comprehensive academic support services is one indicator of Ithaca’s strong commitment to student academic success.  Tutoring Services strives to become the standard of excellence for academic assistance. We know by experience that all students can benefit from tutoring at one time or another during their undergraduate years. We are prepared to meet the challenges of these opportunities!

Our approach is “preventive care.” 

We work hard to help students who come to us in trouble. Through our marketing efforts, however, we attempt to persuade students to use tutoring even when they are succeeding rather than waiting to get tutoring when they find themselves in deep academic jeopardy.  The benefits of using tutoring are multiple.

We prepare students for success in college and in life.

In concert with our College mission, we take student growth and development seriously.  The Tutoring Services staff considers student development theory as we plan and prioritize our programs and services. We challenge students to: develop academic competence; manage their emotions; move through autonomy towards interdependence; develop purpose; integrity; mentoring relationships; technological and computer literacy; and to embrace diversity.  Our peer coaches are trained to recognize these processes in themselves and in the students they work with.

We benefit  from collaboration with College faculty and other offices on Campus.

We believe College faculty are the first line of defense for optimum academic assistance.  They provide recommendations for student coaching staff.  We ask all students who use our services to visit their professors’ office hours.  This is a key developmental task which students must learn in order to be successful in college. 

Next, we collaborate with staff in Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Access, Opportunity, and Achievement, and Student Accessibility Services to develop comprehensive academic services and training to all students.  Our other partners are the S-STEM program in Humanities and Sciences, the Writing Center, the Business School's Beta Alpha Psi organization, and other departmental tutoring and learning opportunities.

We embrace diversity as an integral part of the academic support experience.

We respect the experiences of all students: those from diverse family, educational, and economic backgrounds; students with different learning needs; and those who hail from other countries. 

We affirm ongoing staff development and training! 

Tutoring Services offers a 1-credit training course for new tutors each Fall semester.  We use the training curriculum established by the national College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).   Our peer coaches are also required to participate in periodic training sessions facilitated by College staff in other offices or by head coaches -- experienced college students who have a lot to share! 

We engage in ongoing evaluation and assessment.              

Our programs and services are evaluated on a regular basis using student satisfaction surveys as the primary assessment instruments.  We value student opinions and we work hard to ensure customer satisfaction based on our policies, procedures, and available resources.  We have also begun to assess our services using statistical processes to measure growth or change.