Faculty and Instructor Support

 
The Learning Center and Faculty: Partners in Student Success!

The Learning Center is pleased to support the academic success of all students.  In order to achieve our mission of enhancing the academic performance of Mizzou students and developing the growth of independent learners, we offer a variety of services to improve academic success and increase the retention and graduation rates of students who use our services. As a faculty or staff member, your support and involvement with the Learning Center is vital to student success.  We work closely with faculty and staff to support the success of students who are currently enrolled at Mizzou, partnering to:

  • Connect with students about available resources in writing, math, science and other subjects
  • Make recommendations for potential student staff (tutors and academic coaches)
  • Provide referrals for students who may benefit from our services or may need services from other campus partners

The Learning Center is committed to providing effective learning support for Mizzou students and welcomes comments and feedback concerning our services and how we can best serve our students.  Faculty and instructors who wish to discuss how the Learning Center can better support their specific academic goals should contact our office and arrange a meeting with the appropriate staff person.

Collaborate with Us!

  • Share information about the Learning Center with your students through your syllabus and/or Canvas course site.
  • Faculty members are encouraged to provide recommendations for students they feel would make good content tutors or academic coaches.  Our Coordinators will verify eligibility and contact the student if there is a current need for their skillset.
  • Tiger Tutors is available to all Mizzou undergraduate students who are enrolled in the courses for which we offer tutoring.  Courses offered are generally those with large enrollments and a high demand for tutoring.  The current list includes nearly 60 courses across 18 subjects.  These sessions are held during regularly-scheduled weekday times on campus, as well as some virtual sessions.  See our Tiger Tutors webpage for more information.
  • We have tutors in a variety of disciplines, ready to help students. See the courses currently supported by Tiger Tutors. 
  • Our staff will provide in-person Learning Center orientations to introduce your class to our facility and services.
  • Our tutors/staff can make brief classroom presentations for classes who are unable to attend in-person orientations.
  • Share your feedback and questions.  We are always available to answer your questions, receive feedback about students’ tutoring experiences, or listen to ideas on how to improve our programming.  Please contact us at lc@missouri.edu.

Tutoring – Did You Know?

  • Tutors do NOT do homework for students.  Tutors are trained to guide students to become independent learners.
  • Tutoring is not only for struggling students!  All students benefit from collaborative learning experiences, which enhance their study skills, learning strategies, and content knowledge.
  • Participation in tutoring increases when faculty and instructors encourage (and frequently remind) students to utilize the services.  Allowing tutors/staff to promote group tutoring through a class visit may help to ease potential reluctance to participate in tutoring.  Positive reinforcement of group tutoring may include recommendations to attend tutoring sessions in addition to posted office hours in order to receive timely assistance.

Syllabus/Canvas Messages:

The best way to get the word out about the services we offer is to include some information in your syllabus and on your Canvas course site.  Here are a couple of options to choose from:

Version 1:  The Learning Center is a valuable resource for personalized academic support.  They offer peer tutoring, academic coaching, and other resources that are valuable to your success in this class.  Research shows that peer-assisted learning leads to better grades and understanding of course material.  I strongly encourage you to seek out the Learning Center throughout the semester. Information can be found at www.learningcenter.missouri.edu.

Version 2:  Success in this course is directly related to your dedication and commitment.  Part of that commitment is the willingness to spend hours outside of class working to retain course material.  One way to do so is through the services of the Learning Center, located in the Student Success Center.  They offer peer tutoring, academic coaching, and other resources, all which can be found on their website at www.learningcenter.missouri.edu.  Successful students utilize campus resources consistently as a supplement to their study efforts and do not hesitate to ask for help.  As a student in this course, you are strongly encouraged to seek out such resources. 

If you would like a customized message for your course, please email us!

Tutor/Academic Coach Referral Form:

The Learning Center hires students who are amongst the highest achievers at Mizzou.  To that end, we place a high value upon faculty referrals.  Ideally, Learning Center tutors have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and they must have received an A- or better in the course(s) for which they are hired to tutor.  GPA and grades are used as a benchmark, but by no means are the defining factors of employment.  The most important factors include: excellent communication and interpersonal skills, a sense of maturity and responsibility, dependability and ability to work independently, and an overall desire to help their peers.  All students hired to work in the Learning Center will be required to complete training.

Why are tutors and coaches required to complete training?

Even though students may have mastered a specific subject area or the topics which they are coaching, they will still need to develop other skills to ensure they will be effective.  The training will teach tutors and coaches the following:

  • How to promote independent learning and set boundaries with students
  • How to be respectful of individual differences within students
  • How to recognize learning styles & possible learning obstacles and strategies to address those
  • How to motivate students
  • How to encourage students to take ownership of their academic experience by identifying individual challenges and developing plans for success
  • Content-specific tips (for tutoring math or science and for academic coaching)
  • Business/work protocols and how to work in a team environment

Qualifications to become a Peer Tutor:
  • Ideally, will be at Mizzou for at least two more years
  • Advanced understanding of course material (min course grade of A-)
  • Superior ability in communicating content knowledge
  • Have an aptitude for comfortably relating to other people
  • Ability to adapt tutoring style to diverse groups of students

Qualifications to become an Academic Coach:
  • Superior ability in communicating content knowledge
  • Ability to adapt content and provide information to diverse groups of students
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Have an aptitude for comfortably relating to other people
  • Independent and able to problem-solve in order to assist students with their most pressing coaching needs

Please complete this form to refer an undergraduate student who you feel would make an excellent tutor or academic coach.

Faculty Recommendations:

If a student has applied to be a tutor or academic coach for the Learning Center, a student may request a recommendation from you to support their application.  While references are not required, they definitely enhance a student’s application when a faculty member can speak to their abilities and skills.

Option A: Submit the reference via the Online Form
Option B: Download the Faculty/Instructor Recommendation Form (pdf) to your computer, complete the form, save the file, and attach the completed form to an email to lc@missouri.edu. Note the name of the student in the subject line.
Option C: Print the Faculty/Instructor Recommendation Form (pdf), complete it by hand, place the completed form in an envelope, seal it, and sign across the seal. Send it via campus mail to the Learning Center, 100 Student Success Center.  Please note the name of the student on the envelope.  It will be given to the appropriate Tutoring Coordinator.

Learning Center Orientations:

We encourage faculty members and instructors to bring their classes to the Learning Center at the beginning of the semester for a site visit. Historically, we have found that an initial site visit not only serves as a formal introduction to the Learning Center, but also helps to alleviate fears and remove any stigmas that students might associate with tutoring or other academic assistance. Site visits usually last for approximately 15 minutes, so we encourage you to schedule your visit during either the first or last 15 minutes of class time (your classroom’s proximity to the Learning Center’s location could affect your decision). While the general information session conducted during your visit has been designed by the Learning Center, we are happy to tailor the discussion to include information that is relevant to specific assignments and subject areas.

Learning Center Class Presentations:

Can’t make it to the center with your whole class?  Then the Learning Center will come to you!  A staff member will gladly visit your classroom to discuss the merits of how the Learning Center can best meet the needs of your student population. Presentations last approximately 15 minutes, so we ask that you set aside time either at the beginning or end of class to avoid too much of a disruption to your lesson plan for the day.

To arrange for either an orientation of the Learning Center or a presentation in your classroom, please complete this form.

MU Learning Center Statement on Academic Honesty:

Students who seek academic support through the Learning Center value the opportunity to work collaboratively with successful and more experienced peers. We train our tutors and coaches to help students develop their knowledge through questioning and resource usage, to provide critical feedback to work-in-progress, and to demonstrate problem-solving skills that can be applied to future academic work.

On occasion, a student will request help with problems or questions that have been assigned as part of a take-home examination or quiz. Typically, students are unaware that this is inappropriate but, on occasion, a student is actively attempting to get help when they should be working independently.  Tutors are instructed to refuse help to students who request assistance with take-home exams or quizzes unless the instructions clearly state that outside assistance is acceptable.  However, tutors cannot always tell when a student’s questions derive from an exam and they may inadvertently help a student with work that the student is meant to do alone.  Because tutors are not able to have a comprehensive knowledge of each class, it is the student’s responsibility to alert tutors to class guidelines and procedures.

Despite our best efforts, we cannot always prevent this dishonesty without your help.  If you give a take-home exam or assign other work for which you do not want students to receive tutorial support, please let us know.  If there are specific guidelines for your online class, please let us know.  You can e-mail copies of these assignments or guidelines to lc@missouri.edu.  In this message, please let us know whether or not tutorial support is acceptable and for which courses/sections this applies.  We will pass this information along to our tutors.

Refer Students for Academic Coaching:

WHICH OF MY STUDENTS MAY NEED ACADEMIC COACHING?
  • Students who tell you they are struggling with note-taking, reading the textbook, organizing their time efficiently, or studying for your exams
  • Students who demonstrate an inability to meet deadlines
  • Students whose class participation does not match work produced
  • Students who recognize their skills need shaping and refining to excel at the college level
  • Students who are returning after an extended absence
  • Students who are expressing anxiety about upcoming exams or general anxiety about their academic life

To refer a student for Academic Coaching, fill out this form, and a staff member will contact the student. Note: we cannot guarantee that the student will follow through with accessing services.

Request an Exam Review Session:

The Learning Center may be able to provide assistance to instructors with quiz/exam review sessions for our Tiger Tutors subjects. The professor will be asked to submit review materials that outline the topics to be covered in the review sessions. Please email us and we will contact you for further information and to discuss options.

Share Your Syllabus/Canvas Site with Us:

Help us to enhance our program and to provide better outreach to students.  Share your syllabus with us each semester so our tutors can better prepare for tutoring sessions.  We would also appreciate a list of your exams each semester, if not listed on your syllabus, so we can send targeted messages inviting your students to get assistance. If possible, please provide Canvas course access to the tutors who will be providing assistance with your course(s). 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

light bulb icon How do I refer students to the Learning Center?

The best way to let your students know about the Learning Center and our services is to share information in your syllabus and on your Canvas course site.  You can also refer students directly to the Learning Center, and our office staff can help students access center the services most appropriate for them. Students can visit our office, call, email, or chat with us directly on our website for more information.

Location: 100 Student Success Center
Phone: (573) 882-2493
Email: lc@missouri.edu
Website Chat: http://learningcenter.missouri.edu

light bulb icon What should my students do if no Tiger Tutors is available for my course?

Encourage your students to use our other resources, including NetTutor and Academic Coaching.  If your department offers internal tutoring options, maintains a tutor-for-hire list, or has other resources that would help students in your course, please let us know so we can add the information to our Departmental Tutors and Resources page.

If you are interested in partnering with the Learning Center to add your course(s) to our Tiger Tutors lineup in future semesters, please contact Interim Director, Dr. Christopher Dobbs, at (573) 882-2493 or DobbsCS@missouri.edu.

light bulb icon How do you decide which courses have tutoring?

The Learning Center provides Tiger Tutors in a variety of academic subjects, generally introductory courses that are required for freshmen and sophomore students. Additionally, we offer some Tiger Tutors sessions based on demand. An up-to-date list of courses offered can be found here.

light bulb icon Why would I recommend 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 each week to focus on coursework outside of class. In addition to covering course content, tutors assist tutees with the development of study skills and problem-solving skills in an effort to develop independence and self-confidence.  If students need additional help in these areas, they can set up an appointment with an Academic Coach.

light bulb icon Is there a cost for students to access tutoring or academic coaching?

No.  All Learning Center services, including Tiger Tutors and Academic Coaching, are free and available to all undergraduate students. 

light bulb icon What are the requirements to be considered for a Peer Tutoring position?

Our Tutoring Coordinators make decisions about who will move on to the interview process if they meet our minimum requirements, including:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Received at least an A- in the course(s) they intend to tutor
  • Meet a current tutoring need

Ultimately, hiring decisions are based on several factors, including:

  • Interview(s)
  • Overall academic record
  • Availability:
    • Tutors must be available a minimum of 6 hours per week and,
    • Tutors must be available to participate in training before the start of their first semester of employment

*NOTE: A faculty reference is recommended (but not required) for an application to be considered, but does not guarantee the applicant will be hired.

light bulb icon How do students apply to become a Peer Tutor?

To apply to be a Peer Tutor, students should visit our Become a Tutor webpage for more information. Students interested in working as Writing Center Tutors should complete an application with them.

NOTE: Students nominated/recommended by faculty members are not guaranteed a position within the Learning Center, and not all applicants are hired each semester.

light bulb icon How long does the hiring process take?

The hiring process can take anywhere from one week to one month. We, of course, prefer the process to move as quickly and smoothly as possible. Typical reasons the process is extended include:

  • Delayed application submission
  • Scheduling conflicts that delay interviews
  • Delayed I-9 submission
  • The candidate may not have ready access to required forms of ID (Social Security Card, Driver’s License, US Passport, etc.)
  • For International Students: Candidate has not started the Social Security application process

light bulb icon What are reasons candidates decline a tutoring position or have their offers rescinded?

  • Candidate’s academic standing falls below minimum requirements
  • Candidate’s availability has changed and no longer meets our needs
  • Candidate must focus on other priorities
  • Commuting to and from campus imposes a potential hardship
  • Candidate is unable to commit to the training requirements

light bulb icon What kind of training do peer tutors receive?

During a tutor’s first semester of employment they are required to participate in several hours of online and in-person training sessions. Topics include collaborative group management, the “what ifs” of tutoring, working with students with disabilities, data collection, and more. Training provides tutors with hands-on experience and an opportunity to learn with their peers.

light bulb icon What are the requirements to be considered for an Academic Coach position?

Candidates for an academic coaching position must meet our minimum requirements, including:

  • Have at least Sophomore standing
  • Minimum GPA of 3.25
  • Be reliable, with good organizational and time management skills
  • Strong ethical and confidentiality standards
  • Be a team player who is able to work with a diverse student population

Ultimately, hiring decisions are based on several factors, including:

  • Interview(s)
  • Overall academic record
  • Availability:
    • Coaches must be available a minimum of 6 hours per week and,
    • Coaches must be available to participate in training before the start of their first semester of employment

light bulb icon How do students apply to become an Academic Coach?

To apply to be a Coach, students should visit our Become an Academic Coach webpage for more information.

NOTE: Students nominated/recommended by faculty members are not guaranteed a position within the Learning Center, and not all applicants are hired each semester.

light bulb icon How do I recommend a potential Peer Tutor or Academic Coach?

If you feel that a student would make an exceptional tutor or coach, you can nominate them for Learning Center employment opportunities through our Referral Form.  Also, encourage them to visit the Become a Tutor or Become an Academic Coach webpage in order to complete the appropriate application form.

NOTE: Upon receipt of your nomination the Learning Center will reach out to the nominee with an invitation to apply. 

light bulb icon I am unable to complete the Faculty Recommendation Form.

If you are having difficulty accessing or completing the Faculty Recommendation form, you can send us an email with your written recommendation. Please include the potential tutor’s/coach’s name.

light bulb icon Are peer tutors and academic coaches paid?

Yes, all coaches and tutors are employed by the University, and paid by the Learning Center.

light bulb icon Where do students go for support to write a paper, project, presentation, or application?

Writing support is offered through the Writing Center. Experienced writing tutors from a variety of majors work with students at any stage of the writing process, from understanding assignments to final editing. For an appointment, have students schedule online, or submit their writing to the Online Writery. Please be aware that the Writing Center is an autonomous office within the Student Success Center.

light bulb icon How can students learn to manage their time and create study systems?

The Learning Center provides Academic Coaching to help students better manage their time, improve their study skills, and/or create a study plan.  We can assist students with organization, test anxiety, exam preparation, reading comprehension and more.  Students can schedule a one-on-one meeting with a peer Academic Coach to learn and practice studentship skills, such as effective note-taking, studying strategies, time management, and identifying resources.  Appointments are scheduled directly in MU Connect by searching for “Academic Coaching.”

light bulb icon How can I encourage my students to visit the Learning Center?

  • Insert a brief statement about the Learning Center on your syllabus and on your Canvas page
  • Post a Learning Center Flyer on your office door
  • Invite one of our tutors or academic coaches to make a brief presentation in your class
  • Explain the benefits of visiting the Learning Center during your class
  • Regularly remind students about Learning Center services, particularly before major tests or assignments
  • Offer extra credit for attending a Tiger Tutors or Academic Coaching session and completing an evaluation. We can provide links to the evaluations to share with your students, as well as a list of students who complete the appointment/evaluation by your deadline.
  • Make a referral in MU Connect for individual students who are struggling in your course

Updated 12/19/2023