Academic Resources at Grinnell

Learning often requires consultation. Grinnell offers many resources to be academically successful.

  • The Academic Advising Office provides individual tutoring for all subjects in Humanities and Social Studies. Call the Academic Advising Office at 641-269-3702 or contact Belinda Backous, learning specialist. These subjects include: anthropology, art, economics, education, gwss, global development studies, history, linguistics,  music, philosophy, policy studies, political science, religious studies, sociology, and theatre/dance.
  • For assistance in Language tutoring, stop by the Language Learning Center (ARH 228) or Claire Moisan, director. The drop-in lab-based tutoring can provide assistance with Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.
  • For tutors in the sciences (biology, chemistry, biological  chemistry, neuroscience and physics) work through the Science Learning Center located in Noyce 2809. Contact Minna Mahlab, director for more information.
  • Individual tutors for psychology can be obtained by contacting Barbara Brown, lab technician, in the Psychology Department (Noyce 1517).
  • Drop-in, lab-based tutoring is available for mathematics and statistice (MAT 115, 123, 124, 131, 133, and 209). Contact Renee Bourgeois Parsons, coordinator for more information. The lab is located in Noyce 2012.
  • Tutoring in computer science can be obtained by contacting Sarah Dahlby Albright, coordinator in Noyce 3826. There is individual tutoring and drop-in, lab-based tutoring for computer science and upper-level statistics.
  • Individual assistance with writing assignments can be obtained by contacting the Writing Lab located in ARH 132. Contact Janet Carl, director, for more information.  
  • The Reading Laboratory is available for students wanting to improve reading efficiency and verbal skills. It is located at 1204 East Street. Contact Joan Mohan, director.
  • The Library Lab and Research Tutors can provide individual assistance with research questions.  They are located in the Burling Library.  Contact Phil Jones, consulting librarian, or stop by the research desk.
  • The Data Analysis and Social Inquiry Lab (DASIL) provides lab-based assistance with using data and with statistical and GIS software. The Lab is located in ARH 130. Contact Yujing Cao, data scientist, or Xavier Excandell, director. 

Students Who Would Like To Receive Tutoring in the Humanities/Social Studies

How do I get a tutor?

To obtain a tutor, you must come to the Academic Advising Office, JRC 3rd floor, and meet with Belinda Backous (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 Belinda 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 Belinda 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 Belinda 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 see 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 Belinda Backous, 641-269-3702, 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: $9.50/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 have successfully completed the course
  • 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.