Tutoring Services at the Learning Commons
The Learning Commons Welcomes You!
"For me, peer tutoring at Utica University has been an incredible experience. Utica's tutoring program has truly helped me overcome academic challenges to succeed in my studies. Last semester, I made the Dean's List, which I would not have been able to do without the Learning Commons Tutoring Services. Even the most gifted student can benefit from the guidance of an experienced tutor! Peer tutoring has the power to transform even the most apprehensive students into enthusiastic, highly motivated learners."
- Kimberly M., Criminal Justice, Class of 2022
The Learning Commons offers free peer tutoring to all Utica University undergraduates.
Whether you are in need of extra help or simply wish to enrich your educational experience, the Learning Commons is here for you! Our peer tutors are trained and excel in their courses. They are friendly, approachable, and enthusiastic about helping their fellow classmates succeed! Tutors are available for most subjects including writing, math, science, business, criminal justice, and cybersecurity.
- All tutoring is available in-person (in masks) on a drop-in basis at the Learning Commons. MEET all the available peer tutors here!
- CLICK HERE to view the list of courses for which peer tutoring is currently available.
- CLICK HERE to view the current Learning Commons peer tutoring drop-in schedule.
To access drop-in tutoring, you don't need to make an appointment! Simply:
- Look up the scheduled hours of the tutor you wish to see or the subject you need help with.
- Come to the Library & Learning Commons anytime during that tutor's available drop-in window.
- Enter through the front doors and turn right for the tutoring area. (You'll see a sign there that says "Drop-In Tutoring All Subjects.") Your tutor will be sitting in that tutoring space with a sign that has their name and subjects on it. You can simply come up to your tutor, say "hi," and get started!
- Drop-in tutoring is for small groups of up to 3 students (for the same subject). However, writing drop-in tutoring is one-on-one only. A tutoring session can be a maximum of 50 minutes in length.
It's as easy as that. (Please don't forget to wear a mask and check in and out of your drop-in session! Your tutor will help you with the latter.)
- CLICK HERE to view the list of courses for which peer tutoring is currently available.
- All tutoring sessions will take place in-person at the Learning Commons.
- Tutoring sessions are conducted by trained and qualified peer tutors who are selected based on academic achievement, supportive faculty recommendations, and an application and interview process.
- Tutoring services are FREE to all matriculated Utica undergraduate students. You are already paying tuition, so why not take advantage of this support?
Our mission is to empower Utica University students to become independent, successful learners by providing academic skill-building, resources, and learning opportunities through quality tutoring.
Learning Commons staff hold equity and inclusion at the heart of our student support practices. Our tutoring space is an open, welcoming, comfortable, and mutually respectful learning environment which allows student clients and tutors to ask questions readily, express themselves fully, and evaluate their learning fearlessly. We do no tolerate speech or actions that disrupt this core value. Our aim is for peer tutoring to be easily available, accessible, and beneficial to ALL students. If you feel it isn't, please speak up! we appreciate hearing from you and improving our practices as a result. To get in touch with Kathleen Savino, the Director of the Learning Commons, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Learning is an ongoing, recursive, and collaborative process that requires individual curiosity, resourcefulness, and creativity.
- Learning involves crossing boundaries, taking risks, reflecting honestly on one’s needs, and being vulnerable in seeking help.
- Meaningful academic support honors each student's unique learning journey, meets them where they are on that path, and guides them in developing growth mindset, self-awareness, self-advocacy, and autonomy.
- Active learning environments produce engaged and effective learners with the metacognitive tools to transfer their knowledge and learning to new contexts.
- A community of learners is best served when all academic support staff, including student tutors, are facilitated in their pursuit of professional development and growth.
Not finding a peer tutor for your subject? Need help outside of regular tutoring hours?
Smarthinking is an online tutoring service that is also available to you 24/7 at no additional cost. Smarthinking provides expert assistance in a variety of subjects, including writing. Simply login with your UC username and password at smarthinking.utica.edu. Click the Smarthinking 24/7 Online Tutoring tab below to learn more.
Smarthinking is an easy-to-use online tutoring service available to all Utica University students. Smarthinking provides expert assistance in a variety of subjects, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Over 90% of Smarthinking tutors hold a Master’s degree or Ph.D., so you will work with an expert in every session. Smarthinking tutors average 12 years of experience working directly with students, so they are expert teachers as well as subject experts. Although Smarthinking tutors will never do your work for you, they will help you learn and gain the confidence and skills necessary to handle future assignments on your own.
What can I expect from Smarthinking online tutoring?
With Smarthinking online tutoring, you can:
- Receive online tutoring in more than 150 subject areas
- Connect with a tutor and interact live; get one-on-one help in minutes
- Submit your writing for any class to the Online Writing Lab
- Make an appointment, so you can plan questions and prepare for an assignment
- Submit a question and come back later for your online tutor’s answer
How can a Smarthinking tutor help me with my writing?
To succeed in college and beyond, you need to write well. Nobody’s born a great writer. But everyone can learn and improve. Smarthinking writing tutors can help you:
- Get started, plan, and do the pre-writing necessary for you to succeed
- Put yourself in the reader’s shoes
- Follow your instructor’s guidelines
- Deliver stronger arguments that flow logically
- Choose better evidence
- Properly analyze, organize, and cite research
- Get grammar and other details right
Smarthinking tutors will review your essay or other writing assignment in any subject, and they will give a detailed critique that identifies your strengths and shows exactly how to improve. You’ll get a focused revision plan, targeted comments where you need them, and writing help on any issue you ask them about. The goal of Smarthinking writing tutors is to help you learn writing skills you can use today, next semester, and forever.
Sounds great! How do I get started?
Login is easy. Just click here and enter your Utica username and password.
Still having trouble finding tutoring help?
Special Requests: If you are unable to find a specific undergraduate course or subject offered by either peer tutors or Smarthinking tutors, you can fill out this Tutoring Request Form, and we will get in touch with you and do our best to accommodate your request. However, we cannot guarantee a tutor for every subject/request. Please be sure that you have viewed all schedules and tutor availability on Navigate and on Smarthinking before making a special request.
The tutoring experience is collaborative, and both the tutor and the student play a role.
- Clarification of material
- Practice with course concepts
- Assistance with skills and strategies for how to learn course content
- Test preparation and test-taking tips
- Help with the writing process
However, Tutors Do NOT Offer:
- A quick fix the night before a test or quiz
- A substitute for attending class
- A substitute for meeting with the course instructor
- An editing or proofreading service
A Tutor’s Goals Are To:
- Promote student success by offering academic support in a variety of subjects
- Assist students in becoming independent, confident learners
- Provide a supportive and stimulating active learning environment
Students Who Make the Most of Their Tutoring Sessions:
- Plan tutoring appointments well in advance of upcoming assignments or exams
- Go over the material to the best of their ability before the session
- Come prepared with a plan of specific questions and problems to discuss with the tutor
- Bring relevant course materials (writing prompts, rubrics, texts, assignment sheets, class handouts)
- Actively participate in the session
Why should I use tutoring?
- To identify and clarify key concepts
- To organize and remember information
- To integrate text and lecture notes
- To prepare for a test or quiz
- To learn and improve study strategies
What should I bring to the tutoring session?
- Class notes
- Text notes
- Past quizzes and tests
- Assignment sheets
- Writing prompts
What about confidentiality?
Tutors maintain strict confidentiality and do not share any information regarding student clients and tutoring sessions with anyone other than the Director of Learning Commons. Tutors have permission to share information about your tutoring with the Director of Learning Commons if necessary. This is for your benefit. The Learning Commons keeps record of all tutoring activities, and all Learning Commons tutors sign a Confidentiality Agreement as a condition of their employment.
What can I expect from a tutor?
Tutors are expected to facilitate student learning by:
- Discussing specific course content
- Promoting and modeling the use of appropriate study strategies
- Emphasizing active learning techniques
- Practicing good listening and communication skills
- Maintaining scheduled hours
- Respecting students’ rights to confidentiality
It is important to note that tutors are not “homework machines” or miracle workers. If you procrastinated throughout the semester, cramming with a tutor the night before a major exam will not produce good results. If you plan to visit a writing tutor, keep in mind that last minute revisions are not effective.
What will a tutor expect from me?
Tutees are expected to be active participants in their tutoring sessions. Bring relevant materials to the tutoring session. Come prepared by:
- Attending class
- Taking notes
- Reading assignments
- Trying homework problems
- Preparing questions
- Attending tutoring sessions on a regular basis
When can I meet with a tutor?
Tutoring typically begins during the second full week of classes. Currently, all tutoring takes place in-person (in masks) on a drop-in basis at the Learning Commons. To learn more, scroll up to the tab "Drop-In Tutoring: How It Works."
Are there other options available for tutoring?
Yes! The Smarthinking online service is also available to you. Smarthinking gives students anytime, anywhere access to academic help from experts with an average of 12 years of experience in their field. Each Utica College student can access their Smarthinking account with their Utica username and password at this link: https://smarthinking.utica.edu/. Tutors are available in the following subjects:
- Mathematics & Statistics
- Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, A&P, Organic Chemistry, Physics)
- Computers & Technology (InDesign & Photoshop, C++, C#, Java, Python, etc.)
Questions about tutoring?
Please contact Kathleen Savino, Director of Learning Commons, at 315-792-3369 or at email@example.com.
Utica’s peer tutors are a select group of students who demonstrate subject proficiency as well as the interpersonal skills necessary for good working relationships. Working as a tutor offers you many benefits and valuable experiences. If you are interested in becoming a peer tutor, please read on:
What are the requirements of a peer tutor?
- Read the Official Job Description for a Learning Commons Peer Tutor.
- 'B+' or above in the course you wish to tutor, and a 3.0 (or higher) cumulative GPA
- Completion of two semesters of college
- Ability and commitment to work at least one full academic year as a tutor (preferred; exceptions are made on an as-needed basis)
- Enthusiasm for your academic subject and an interest in helping your peers learn
How much will I be able to tutor?
Peer tutoring is a paid position, and tutors typically work 3–8 hours per week, depending on the tutor's schedule and available funding. Tutoring as part of work study for undergraduate applicants is preferred but not required.
What does tutor training involve?
You are required to complete several hours of (paid) training before beginning work as a tutor. Training topics include:
- Tutor role do’s and don’ts
- How to be an effective facilitator of student learning
- Conducting a successful tutoring session
- Dealing with difficult situations
- Listening and communication skills
I'm interested! How do I apply?
- Submit a Learning Commons Peer Tutor Application.
- Submit your Campus Employment Application.
- Request a Recommendation from a faculty member who knows you (and your work) best. If you have already been recommended by a faculty member or have been contacted directly by the Director of Learning Commons, skip this step.
- Send an email to Kathleen Savino, the Director of the Learning Commons, indicating your interest to work as a tutor after you have completed all the steps above. Please email Lena at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to see logins and resources for:
For a general list of frequently used logins, you can also visit our logins page.