addition to a tradition of spontaneous and informal peer tutoring,
students work in many different capacities to help teach other
students at Reed. The college has a strong one-on-one tutoring
program, where students can receive help, free of charge,
from qualified upperclassmen who have been nominated by the
faculty in their major department. In the 1998-99 school year,
193 students were tutored by 65 individual subject tutors
for a total of 500 hours. Reed also operates a drop-in writing
center staffed by nominated upperclassmen who have been trained
to aid other students with every stage of the writing process.
The math and science departments provide additional types
of peer tutoring. The drop-in science (physics, biology, and
chemistry) and math centers offer help to students on homework
and problem sets, analysis of lab data, preparation of lab
reports, clarification of concepts, and on questions regarding
course material. In addition, science students serve as lab
assistants and grade problem sets in some courses.
1999, Reed expanded the opportunities available for peer tutoring
in its science departments by means of a National Science
Foundation Award for the Integration of Research and Education
(NSF-AIRE). This award was used to develop an Undergraduate
Research Mentor program, using experienced students as peer
mentors to help develop the empirical research skills of students
who are newer to the sciences. The peer mentors work closely
with students who are conducting independent research projects
in introductory, intermediate, or advanced science courses.
These student mentors are selected juniors or seniors in the
department who have demonstrated proficiency in the course
in which they are assisting and have participated in a paid
three month summer training program in order to build mentoring
skills. In addition, the summer training emphasizes collaboration
with a faculty member on an ongoing research project (in order
to develop research skills and experience), and includes working
with faculty in course planning and strengthening skills in
appropriate areas (e.g., computer programming and statistics).
students in the classroom, the Undergraduate Research Mentor
program serves as a supplement to their usual interactions
with faculty members by extending opportunities for individual
attention, development of research skills, and active participation
in research projects with the help of their peer mentors.
Although these goals are the same for all of the science departments,
each department is implementing the Undergraduate Research
Mentoring program in a different way, according to its needs.
History of Peer Tutoring
in the United States
Varieties of Peer Tutoring
Current Research: Is
Peer Tutoring Effective?
Examples of Successful
Tutoring at Reed College
to Science at Reed Reviews