Do You Need a Tutor?, pt. 1

Deciding to hire a tutor can be tough. Tutoring requires schedule adjustments, coordination, and clear expectations on everyone's part. Part one of this article gives some advice for parents and college students in making this decision. Part two relates to professionals, "non - traditional" college students, and military candidates.


First, consider the academic and social expectations you have for your child. Do you expect “C’s” and above? All “A’s” and “B’s”? Are extracurricular activities important? Do you expect participation in one, school – related activity (a common parental expectation). These questions will help you decide whether or not to hire a tutor for your child.

Next, look at your child’s academic performance realistically. If your child is earning two “D’s”, and you expect “C’s” and above, it is probably time to involve a tutor. Base your decision on a current progress report. Also, consider whether you have the time and academic skills to help. You may decide your child needs a combination of more help from you and a couple of hours a week with a tutor.

Also, consider the importance of extracurricular activities. If you expect your student to participate at school, consider the time requirement. Parents can scale back their child’s involvement and have them use that time to extra help from a parent or tutor. In this case, try scaling back their commitment and re-checking progress in two weeks. Hire a tutor if your child is still struggling.

Finally, consider your child’s age, maturity, and comfort level with teachers. If your child is shy around teachers and other adults, talk to them about tutors and what they do. Teach behavioral expectations for tutoring sessions and role-play with your young child. Have them pretend to be the student while you play the part of the new tutor. Keep it fun and light. If you decide your shy child needs tutoring, start preparing them a couple of weeks in advance. Then, contact the tutor and get started.

College Students

College students need to act as soon as they find themselves struggling academically. College course grades are often based on very few assignments and tests. If you are struggling in a class with just 3 or 4 assignments and tests making up your semester grade, get help as soon as you have trouble! The only real question you should ask is, “Where do I find help?”

First, look for on - campus tutoring options. Most colleges have learning centers that offer free tutoring. Tutors are often high – performing undergraduate students (usually a 3.5 GPA or above) or graduate students. A learning center tutor helped me during my first semester in graduate school. She was an Honor’s College student and student athlete with a near 4.0 GPA. Her help was crucial as I transitioned from full - time employment to full - time graduate student.

Also consider scholarship and minimum GPA requirements. For example, Education majors at my alma mater had a minimum 2.5 GPA requirement for Teacher’s College admission their junior year. If you have a similar GPA requirement, look for a tutor at the first sign of trouble. You may need to combine the help of professors, classmates, and on – campus and outside tutors to maintain a satisfactory GPA.

Finally, factor in your class and work schedules. Is your free time limited by work needs? If so, make the most of your few available hours by getting help directly from your professors and outside tutors. Look for outside tutors who either are licensed teachers or are professionals with at least a few years of experience in the subjects they tutor. What can be better than getting help in ECON. from someone with 15 or 20 years’ professional accounting experience?!

*I hope you have found this information useful! Please take a moment to comment, Like this post on Facebook, or Tweet it via Twitter using the buttons below. Feel free to contact me using the “E-mail Jeff. S” button on my WyzAnt tutor home page using this link: I’m happy to answer questions about your unique situation!

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