The tutorial establishes the first ongoing relationship between student and professor, so from the beginning, each student knows at least one professor well.
The tutorial professor serves as the student's academic adviser until a major is declared. Because the tutorial is limited to 13 students, the tutorial professor can discover what each student wants and needs in an academic course of study.
Although not all tutorial sections progress in exactly the same way, most begin with an introduction to college-level writing, oral presentation and discussion, and critical analysis. Students then undertake independent study of the tutorial topic, working individually or in small groups and meeting regularly with the professor in and out of class.
Tutorial topics for the Fall 2010 semester included O Vocative Obama: Inaugurations, Addresses, and All Manner of Beginnings; Frankenstein: Gender, Technology, and the Sociological Imagination; Ghost Stories; Great Stories in Hip Hop: Rap Music as Literature; and Making a Difference in the Fight Against Global Poverty.