Policies and Procedures

What to Expect When Visiting the Tutoring Center

When you visit the Tutoring Center, please check in at the Reception Desk located near the stairs to the second floor of Butcher Library. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Tutoring Center asks that everyone register at reception.

Administrative staff members are usually available on weekdays during traditional business hours to help students visiting the Tutoring Center. If no one is at the Reception Desk when you arrive, please ask someone in the surrounding offices or tutoring tables behind the mobile bulletin boards for help.

If no one is available to help you, please look at the Tutoring Schedule posted on one of the mobile bulletin boards to see when drop-in tutoring is available for your courses (or check the Tutoring Schedule webpage or Starfish). Students who arrive a few minutes early for tutoring sessions may wait at designated tables or chairs.

Tutoring sessions are limited to 45 minutes. Students may have up to one tutoring session per day per course, but they may not have back-to-back sessions.

For tutoring to help students achieve their academic goals, they should not wait to seek assistance. Students should begin tutoring early in the semester and meet with tutors regularly (ideally, at least every week) to see the most improvement in their understanding and grades. Tutors are skilled learners and helpers, but they are not miracle workers; learning takes time and work. Students have to put in the time and effort to learn concepts, memorize information, and work through revisions of writing assignments and other projects to earn good grades.

Tutoring occurs in one-on-one or small group sessions of 2 to 4 students working simultaneously on the same course with the same tutor. However, tutoring sessions for help with writing assignments are one-to-one sessions. The only exception to this policy would be if a group of students must write a single paper as a team; then, the team may have a group session with a writing tutor.

Tutoring Center staff members should treat students respectfully. In turn, students should treat the staff, whether professional or peer, and other students who are working in the Tutoring Center respectfully. To create a respectful learning environment, the Tutoring Center follows these policies:

  • Space at the Tutoring Center is limited, so the tutoring tables are reserved for tutors and their tutees. Students who are not working with tutors can find help at the Circulation Desk for Butcher Library to identify other spaces for independent study.
  • Please use language and exhibit behavior that is appropriate for a public educational space. Please refrain from vulgar or offensive language. Please watch how loudly you speak. Please do not put your feet up on the chairs or tables. Please clean up after yourself and push in your chair when you leave.
  • Although beverages are allowed, eating is not allowed in the Tutoring Center.
  • The use of mobile devices can disrupt other tutors and tutees. Please be respectful of others by not talking on mobile devices in the Tutoring Center. Turn off ring tones and text rather than speak if communication by a mobile device is necessary. Taking calls and texting during tutoring sessions is also disrespectful to your tutor.
  • The volume on headphones and other electronic devices should be low enough so that no one else in the area hears what you are hearing.
  • Socializing and other behaviors that disrupt the purpose of the Tutoring Center and surrounding areas are not permitted. The center is an academic workspace.
  • Students should not bring their children to tutoring sessions.
  • Tutors will end tutoring sessions if tutees are not following the policies of the Tutoring Center or the college. Per College policy, students must present their college identification when requested by any faculty or staff member. The Tutoring Center staff will refer students who refuse to show their college ID or who repeatedly violate policies to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities under Student Affairs. See the Student Handbook for more information on the Student Code of Conduct.

Tutoring Schedule

  • The Tutoring Schedule provides information about tutor availability. It is organized alphabetically by subject. Under each of those subjects, specific course numbers are listed. Next to those course numbers, you will see the names of the tutors who help with those courses and the days and hours when they work.
  • The days of the week on the schedule are abbreviated as follows: Su = Sunday, M = Monday, T = Tuesday, W = Wednesday, R = Thursday, F = Friday, and Sa = Saturday.
  • When hours are listed as BAO (by appointment only), that tutor will only be in at those times if a student has booked an appointment in advance.
  • Although tutors work at various times during the week, there is not a tutor for every course every hour of every day.
  • The Tutoring Schedule is posted online, as well as on a bulletin board in the Tutoring Center. Unless noted otherwise, face-to-face tutoring sessions occur at the Tutoring Center on the first floor of Butcher Library.
  • If the schedule does not list a tutor for your course or if a listed tutor isn’t available when you are available, submit a Tutoring Request Form. The Tutoring Center staff will then try to find a qualified tutor to help you with that course. If a tutor is found, a staff member will notify you. The last day to submit a request for a new tutor is the Friday after Interim Grades are posted.

Drop-In Tutoring

Students may seek tutoring on a drop-in basis. Drop-in students are helped on a first-come, first-served basis.

Virtual drop-in tutoring is available through NightOWL Online Tutoring.

Tutoring by Appointment

  • Students can book tutoring appointments through Starfish. Appointments must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. If you need assistance with booking a tutoring appointment, please see How to Book a Tutoring Appointment. If you need help with making an appointment, please stop by or email the Tutoring Center.
  • Please be aware that a tutoring appointment does not guarantee that a session will be one-on-one (except in the case of sessions for help with writing assignments). However, it does mean that the session will be for that particular course.
  • Consecutive or back-to-back tutoring appointments are not allowed. No more than one appointment per course per day is permitted.
  • If you have an appointment, be on time. If students arrive late, the session end time will not change. If students do not arrive within 15 minutes of the start of their appointments, tutors will mark them as a “no show.”
  • If you have an appointment that you need to cancel, please cancel it through Starfish or notify TutoringCenter@morrisville.edu (or email your tutor directly). Students should make every effort to provide advance notice of at least 24 hours when canceling.
  • Students who repeatedly miss or cancel tutoring appointments will no longer be allowed to make them. However, they may still seek tutoring on a drop-in basis.

Preparing for Tutoring Sessions (both drop-in and appointment)

  • Before seeking a tutor’s help, students should try to understand and do the coursework on their own first. Students, for instance, should have done the assigned reading and attempted to begin assignments before asking for help from a tutor. Students who have not done what instructors have assigned are less likely to succeed in the class. It also makes it very difficult for tutors to help students improve in the course.
  • Be prepared with specific topics and questions about your assignments that you would like to discuss with your tutor.
  • Have your course materials ready to use during tutoring sessions. That means textbooks, the syllabus, lecture or reading notes, assignment sheets, calculators, laptops, etc. You and the tutor need these resources to be productive and make progress. Please do not rely on the Tutoring Center or its tutors to have your course materials.

What Tutors Cannot Do

  • Tutors are not instructors; they do not teach or lecture. Tutoring does not replace attending classes, reading assigned texts, seeking help from professors, or studying independently. Instead, tutoring is a supplement or complement to all of the other actions that successful students do.
  • Tutoring is not a homework or editing service. Do not expect tutors to do your work for you. A tutor’s job is to help you learn how to learn so that you can succeed independently (such as during tests and quizzes when students aren’t allowed help from others).
  • Tutors should not give students answers or do their work for them. When tutors do too much, students will not develop the knowledge and skills to succeed independently. Moreover, as forms of cheating and plagiarism, giving answers and doing work for someone else violates the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Tutors cannot sign for proof of tutoring session attendance. The tutors will enter notes on your tutoring sessions in Starfish; that way, anyone in your Starfish Success Network can see that you had a session. If you had a NightOWL tutoring session, then it is archived in your STAR-NY “locker,” where you can download and share session records with anyone who wants to know if you participated in tutoring.
  • Tutors cannot help with online or take-home quizzes/tests/exams unless written instructions explicitly state that tutors can help with these assignments.

What Tutors Can Do

  • Tutors can assist students with the learning process in a variety of ways. For instance, tutors ask questions to help tutees think critically and creatively, explain complex concepts, demonstrate the steps they would take to complete an assignment or prepare for a test, quiz students, share helpful resources, and model good study habits.
  • Tutors will suggest new strategies, techniques, and tips to help students improve academically. Often, what students have been doing is not working as well as they would like, so it’s time to try something different. Tutors can offer different ways to learn, study, or complete an assignment. Be open to the suggestions that tutors offer you and try them out to find what strategies work best for you.
  • Tutors can offer advice on how to read more effectively and efficiently.
  • Tutors can offer suggestions on how to improve and use your notes from lectures and texts.
  • Tutors can help you see the relevance of what you are studying.
  • Tutors can share resources that they have found helpful personally or for other students with whom they have worked.
  • Although writing and COMP tutors cannot “fix” or “correct” your papers for you, they can help you at every stage of the writing process.