Tutoring Services

The Academic Advising Office employs trained and academically successful Grinnell students to provide individual tutoring sessionsto any enrolled student who ants help with coursework. To request a tutor call the Academic Advising Office at 269-3702 or email Hanna Langley.

Tutoring in the humanities and social sciences

The Tutoring Program offers tutoring help in the following humanities and social sciences subjects:

  • Anthropology
  • Arabic
  • Classics (including Greek)
  • Economics
  • Education
  • English
  • French
  • Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies
  • German
  • History
  • Japanese
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Sociology
  • Theater & Dance
Tutoring in the sciences

For tutoring in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics contact the Science Learning Center (269-3015). Tutors for Psychology can obtained by contacting Barbara Brown in the Psychology department (269-3171). Tutors for Mathematics and Computer Science courses are available through the Math Lab, and for assistance with science research, contact Kevin Engle (269-4234).

Academic help in other areas

Assistance with writing assignments and reading comprehension may be obtained through the Writing Lab and Reading Laboratory, respectively. Further, the reference librarians will assist you with in-depth research questions through the Library Lab. The Peer Tutoring Program and all other academic help is free and available to all students.

Links for current tutors and tutees

Tutee Web Report Form

Tutor Web Report Form

Students who would like to have a tutor:

What is the Peer Tutoring Program?

If you are struggling in a course, or know you will be struggling soon, or would like to inprove your grade, you can request a Peer Tutor. Our tutors are upper class students who have been recommended by academic departments for demonstrating expertise in the subject areas. They will meet with you individually at mutually convenient the time and place and work with you at your own pace. As an enrolled student, you can receive up to 4 free hours a week of tutoring.  

How do I get a tutor?

To obtain a tutor, you must come to the Academic Advising Office, JRC 3rd floor, and meet with Hanna Langley (269-3702). She will listen to your concerns about the course, including areas needing improvement, and she will match you with a tutor. It is your responsibility to contact the tutor(s) and arrange mutually convenient meeting times. If you and your tutor cannot find a time convenient for both of you, ask for another tutor contact. If you have any difficulties with the tutoring arrangement, be sure to meet with Hanna to resolve the issue. We want every student to have a strong chance of being successful in their courses.

What do I do once I have a tutor?

To assure that your tutor will be paid for tutoring time, after each session, you are required to complete the Tutee Web Report Form, which Hanna will discuss with you during the meeting. 

What if I don't like the tutor I chose?

You are welcome to change tutors at any time; just let Hanna know, and she will assist you with this process. It would be polite to inform your current tutor that you will not need their assistance in the future.

How will a tutor be able to help me?

Tutors will help you find strategies to succeed in your specific class. This may include working on note taking skills, comprehension of basic concepts or key ideas, and organizing materials for the course.

What assignments or issues should my tutor avoid?

Your tutor should not assist you with take-home exams or any other assignment for which the instructor has explicitly stated that you should do independently. For examples of academically dishonest work, please Grinnell's academic honesty policy.

Avoid discussing with your tutor any personal issues that do not pertain specifically to the course for which you are tutored (such as homesickness, roommate problems, health issues). These concerns are important and should be addressed with professional staff in Student Affairs or SHACS.

I have more questions!

Contact Hanna Langley (269-3702) to find answers.

Becoming A Tutor

Why tutor?

Different people tutor for different reasons, such as:

  • Helping other students;
  • reviewing a subject with someone else helps you learn it better;
  • getting paid to talk about a subject that you enjoy;
  • wages: $9.10/hour on-campus job, with flexible hours; and/or
  • you learn more about yourself and your learning style by working with someone who may learn differently.
What are the qualifications for tutors?
  • you must be an enrolled, full-time Grinnell College student
  • you must be in good academic standing
  • you must secure recommendation of an academic department
  • you must attend all tutor training session offered
Tutor requirements

1. Tutors must be enrolled as full-time students at Grinnell College.

2. Students on academic probation may not serve as tutors.

3. As a tutor, you are expected to attend any training sessions scheduled by the Academic Advising Office. You may include time spent in training on your monthly time sheet.

Tutoring Program

Tutoring program background

Tutoring through the Academic Advising Office is available to all students who wish to improve their ability in one or more of their social science and/or humanities courses. Tutoring is offered by course (i.e., a student must receive tutoring for a specific course). We also coordinate tutors for ESL. Our office employs approximately 75 tutors, who work up to 4 hours a week tutoring students. The tutoring service is free to all student

Students seeking tutoring in the Humanities and Social Studies fields should come to the Academic Advising Office. For help in other fields of study, students should contact Katherine McClelland (Math and Computer Science), Minna Mahlab (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and Barbara Brown (Psychology). There are also 'labs' for some language departments; these are advised by faculty who work cooperatively with our Office.

Faculty involvement in the tutoring program

There are two principle ways in which faculty input and assistance are vital to our program: 1) recommending students as prospective tutors; and 2) referring students who may benefit from individual attention to the tutoring program. At the beginning of the year, our office sends out a call for tutors, asking professors to recommend students who have a solid understanding of the material for one or more courses, especially at the introductory (i.e., 100 and 200) level. We rely on these recommendations in hiring our tutors for the year. Second, we hope that as the semesters progress and students are experiencing difficulty, you will be willing to suggest tutoring as a possible means of addressing this difficulty.

Expectations of tutors and tutees

All tutors participate in a training session in which they learn the logistics for working for our office, basic dos and don'ts of tutoring, and how to adapt their tutoring to accommodate individuals with different learning styles. Tutors are encouraged to contact the office at any time if they have questions or concerns about their tutees. Tutors are paid $9.10/hour, making them some of the highest paid student workers on campus. When a student wants a tutor, he or she comes to the Academic Advising Office and requests a list of tutors from Denise Bennett, Administrative Assistant for Academic Advising. The student is given then responsible for contacting tutors on the list, and finding someone with whom they can work effectively. Students are asked to prepare for each tutoring session, bringing specific questions or problems to work through. Tutoring sessions generally last about an hour, take place in a location mutually agreed upon by tutor and tutee, and students may meet with their tutors up to twice a week. Some students choose to work with tutors on a regular basis, while others may only visit with their tutors before an exam or assignment is due. In abiding by the academic honesty policy of the institution, both tutors made aware that they should not assist with take-home exams, or complete homework for students.