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Tutor Manual

Tutor Manual

  1. Tutoring Code of Ethics
  2. Tutoring Program Policies
  3. Additional Policies for Tutors
  4. Qualifications to Become a Tutor
  5. Requesting a Tutor
  6. Compensation
  7. Completing the Tutor Log and Time Sheets
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Making Referrals
  10. Sexual Harassment Policy
  11. Evaluation of the Tutoring Program
  12. Evaluation of the Tutor
  13. The First Tutoring Session
  14. Assisting Students with Learning Disabilities

Tutoring Code of Ethics

I will focus on building the student’s self-confidence and independence.

I will show respect for the cultural background and personal values of other students. I will not impose my personal values, beliefs, and/or lifestyle on the student during the tutoring session.

I agree to abide by the college’s policies on academic honesty. I will not go beyond the scope of tutoring and complete graded work that is to be done by the tutee. If approached, I will refuse and report this situation to the Tutoring Coordinator.

I will keep all of the information regarding my tutee confidential. The only exception is if it becomes necessary for me to make a referral to the Tutoring Coordinator, to a Student Development Counselor, or to Campus Police to address a particular need.

I will stay knowledgeable in the courses that I tutor.

I recognize that I may not have all the answers to student questions. If a question arises that I cannot answer, I will help the student find the correct answer or direct them to the appropriate resource.

I will give honest feedback to the student I serve and I will not insult a student with false hope or empty flattery. I will always demonstrate faith in my student's learning abilities.

I will maintain accurate records of tutoring sessions in my tutoring log as expected and required.

I will always demonstrate sensitivity and honesty when interacting with the student. I will view the student as a unique individual full of promise.

I understand that my relationship to the student is professional and not personal.

I will be open to feedback from the student and the Tutoring Coordinator regarding my performance so that I may grow in my capacity to tutor.

I will be open-minded and patient.

I will not discriminate on the basis of creed, color, race, national origin, age, socioeconomic status, handicap, or sex.

I will adhere to the policies and guidelines outlined in the tutoring manual and the NOVA Student Handbook.

Sources: Adapted from The National Tutoring Association’s "Tutor Code of Ethics".

Tutoring Program Policies

Tutors may only tutor a student up to two hours per week, per class. All tutoring must occur at the Loudoun Tutoring Center, located on the first floor of the Learning Commons (LC) Building.

Students must abide by the Student Handbook and the college’s policies on academic honesty. Tutors are not allowed to go beyond the scope of tutoring and complete graded work that is to be done by the tutee. If approached, a student must refuse and report this situation to the Tutoring Coordinator.

Tutees are expected to attend and participate in each class, take notes, read their course materials, and to study. Tutoring is provided to help students learn concepts that are not mastered after these things have been done.

Tutees should come to the tutoring session prepared. Please bring your textbook, notes, and a list of topics or questions that you would like to cover.

Please be on time to your tutoring session. If you are going to be more than 5 minutes late please call the other person. Out of courtesy, please give the other person at least 24 hours of notice if you need to cancel a tutoring session for an unavoidable reason.

Additional Policies for Tutors

Tutors must read the entire Tutor Manual and abide by all of the policies.

A hard copy of the Tutoring Log must be completed at the end of each tutoring session and be retained by the tutor. The tutor will then submit the online version of the Tutor Log and their electronic timesheet on the last day of each bi-weekly pay period. The timesheet and the Tutor Log can be found under Resources for Tutors.

Tutors may not be compensated for tutoring a student more than two hours per week unless the Tutoring Coordinator has given the tutor written permission to assist the student due to a special need.

Qualifications to Become a Tutor

In order to become a tutor, a student must have earned an “A” in the course that they would like to tutor within the last 3 years. They should have a GPA of 3.5 or above as well.

If a course was completed at another college a student should submit a copy of their transcript to the Tutoring Coordinator.

If it has been more than 3 years since the course was taken, a student may only tutor the course if they can demonstrate that they have remained competent in the subject matter of the course through their educational or work experience.

If a student has an "A" average in a course that they are currently taking, then they can tutor that course if their instructor is willing to email the Tutoring Coordinator a recommendation on their behalf.

Students who wish to tutor a foreign language are not required to have taken the language class if they are a native speaker or have passed a CLEP exam for that language.

Before a student may tutor they must:

  1. Apply to Become a Tutor on the tutoring website.
  2. Interview with the Tutoring Coordinator.
  3. Complete the employment application and all necessary paperwork.
  4. Read the entire Tutoring Manual.

Requesting a Tutor

Requests for a tutor must be submitted online at the Loudoun Campus tutoring website. Upon completing the request, the student will be prompted to take a learning style assessment and then they will be sent an email within two business days to place them with a tutor if one is available for their course. The email will contain the tutor’s name, phone number, the tutee’s responsibilities, and the tutoring program policies. Then the student will need to contact the tutor and arrange a time to meet at the Loudoun Campus.


A tutor can only be compensated for tutoring that occurs after a student completes a Request for a Tutor and is officially placed with the tutor by the Tutoring Coordinator. An email will be sent to the student requesting a tutor to officially place them.

The starting rate is $10.00 p/hr.

Completing the Tutor Log and Time Sheets

Please print the hard copy tutor log to keep track of each tutoring session. At the end of each pay period, please use the hard copy tutor log to report each of your tutoring sessions by submitting the electronic tutor log. The hard copy tutor log should then be submitted to the Tutoring Coordinator.

You will also need to submit your HRMS Timesheet online at myNOVA.

Timesheets are due by 1:00 p.m. on the last day of each pay period, as shown on the Pay Periods chart located on the Resources page. Hard copy tutor logs and electronic tutor logs are due by 10:00 a.m. on the Due in Payroll date, as shown on the Pay Periods chart. If you submit the tutor logs and timesheet late, you will not be paid until the pay date for the next period.

To submit your time sheet online:

  1. Sign into your myNOVA account.
  2. Click on VCCS SIS: Student Information System.
  3. View the Timesheet Tutorial to learn how to submit your time online.


What happens at the tutoring session stays at the tutoring session. Anything that a tutor learns about a student during a tutoring session is not to be shared with anyone else. The only exception is if the tutor needs to make a referral to the Tutoring Coordinator, to a Student Development Counselor, or to Campus Police. Please speak with the Tutoring Coordinator if you have any questions about whether you should make a referral.

Making Referrals

It is alright to be a sounding board, but you are not a counselor. Please refer serious problems to a Student Development Counselor. The Loudoun Campus Counseling Center is located in LR 253 and you can also reach a counselor by calling 703.450.2571.

You may also share any of your concerns with the Tutoring Coordinator located in LC 102-O or call 703.948.7569.

If there is an emergency call 9-1-1 and then call Campus Police at 703.409.2637.

Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. The Northern Virginia Community College Student Handbook, defines sexual harassment as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed at an individual, or action taken in retaliation for reporting such behavior, regardless of where such conduct may occur when it interferes with a student’s academic performance or participation in educational pursuits."

"Sexual harassment is a serious offense. A student who engages or assists in such conduct shall be subject to disciplinary measures including reprimand, suspension, or dismissal when justified to remedy violations of this policy."

Please report any violations of this policy to the Dean of Student Development located in LR 242, or call 703.450.2512. If you feel uncomfortable at anytime with a student that you have been assigned to tutor; please inform the Tutoring Coordinator immediately.

Source: Northern Virginia Community College. Student Handbook 2011-2013 p. 73-74.

Evaluation of the Tutoring Program

After the first tutoring session, the student receiving tutoring must complete a brief online survey on the Loudoun Campus tutoring website. Please click Surveys and then 1st Tutoring Session Evaluation to access the survey. It is the tutor’s responsibility to remind the student to complete this survey after the initial tutoring session.

At the beginning of your second tutoring session please ask the student if they completed the survey. If not, please ask the student to submit the survey before you begin tutoring them again. Students may use the computers located in the LC first floor Tutoring Center or in the library or even the computer lab in Waddell to complete the survey before their second session.

At the end of each semester there is also a short survey that we ask both the tutor and the tutee to submit on the Loudoun Campus tutoring website. Each survey consists of about eight questions that are used to evaluate the success of the tutoring program.

The Tutor End of Term Survey will also give tutors the opportunity to list additional courses that they would like to tutor the following semester.

Evaluation of the Tutor

Each tutor will have a one-on-one meeting with the Tutoring Coordinator at the end of the semester. This meeting will be used to assess the surveys, training needs, courses tutored, student success, and any other items as necessary. The Tutoring Coordinator will contact the tutor to arrange a time to meet.

The First Tutoring Session

  1. Introductions

    Spend a few minutes building a rapport and breaking the ice.

    Introduce yourself and share any other information that you would like the tutee to know about you. Ask the student to introduce themselves and to tell you about their major, hobbies, interests, etc.

  2. Review the Student’s Learning Style Assessment

    The student should have taken the Learning Style Assessment on the Loudoun Campus Tutoring website after they requested a tutor. Please review this assessment with them to understand what kind of learner they are. You may use the suggestions provided by the Learning Style Assessment as a guide when you are tutoring the student. For example, if the student is a visual learner try drawing diagrams or flow charts to help them learn the material. If the student has still not taken this assessment, please encourage them to complete it before the next tutoring session so that you may review it with them then.

  3. Set Expectations

    Ask the student about their study habits and their participation in class. If necessary, remind the student that tutoring is not a substitute for attending class, taking notes, reading course materials, and studying several hours per week for each class. Tutoring is provided to supplement these habits and to facilitate learning after these things have been done. Students should expect to study 3 hours per week outside of class for each 1 credit that they take. If they are a full-time student taking 12 or more credits then they should expect to study full-time (at least 40 hours per week) in order to be successful in their classes.

    Reassure the student that you will do your best to answer their questions, but that you may not know every answer. Explain that if something comes up that you do not know then you will try to find out the answer for them. Also encourage them to follow up with their instructor after class and during their office hours for extra help.

    Tell the student that you want them to be an active participant in the tutoring session. Encourage them to ask lots of questions and let them know that there is no such thing as a dumb question.

    Request that the student prepare a list of specific questions and topics that they would like to cover before they come to each tutoring session. This will help you structure the tutoring session to achieve the student’s learning objectives.

    Ask the student about their expectations for the tutoring sessions.

  4. Start Tutoring

    Review the list of questions/topics that the student prepared and ask the student about their concerns.

    Explain concepts to students and engage them in the learning process. Don’t just give them an answer, but show them how and why. If possible, explain how they can check their answers.

    Show students how to find the answers to their questions. For example, show them how to use the index of their textbook to look up a particular topic.

    Remember to be a good listener and to adapt your pace and your style of tutoring to meet the needs of the student.

  5. Wrap up the Tutoring Session

    Let the student know when only 15 minutes remain and ask them if there is anything else that they would like you to cover before the session ends.

    As the session comes to a close, complete the hard copy of your tutor log and schedule your next meeting with the student.

    Ask the student to complete the 1st Tutoring Session Evaluation before the next session.

    Also, show the student the Resources for Students section of the Loudoun Campus Tutoring website and encourage them to review these helpful resources before you meet again.

Assisting Students with Learning Disabilities

Approximately 4-6 percent of students have learning disabilities. A learning disability is a neurological disorder that affects one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations.

Every individual with a learning disability is unique and shows a different combination and degree of difficulties. A common characteristic among people with learning disabilities is uneven areas of ability, "a weakness within a sea of strengths." For instance, a student with dyslexia who struggles with reading, writing and spelling may be very capable in math and science.

Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps; of mental retardation; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.

Generally speaking, people with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. There often appears to be a gap between the individual’s potential and actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities:” the person looks perfectly “normal” and seems to be a very bright and intelligent person, yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age.

A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, and in the community.

Please refer to the Loudoun Campus Tutoring website link to the Learning Disabilities Association of America for more information about learning disabilities, signs, symptoms, and strategies for assisting students. You may click on Training Resources to read more about helping students with learning disabilities.

If you believe that the student you are tutoring has a learning disability, please inform the Tutoring Coordinator so that an appropriate referral can be made to the Disability Counselor, Kimberly Heck in LR 253 703.450.2591. Students who have documented disabilities are allowed special accommodations such as extra tutoring. For more information, go to the Disability Center.

Source: Learning Disabilities Association of America.