Office of Academic Support

Division of Student Life

FAQ for Faculty and Staff

This is an evolving document. Please feel free to suggest questions for us to include.

General FAQ

What is the Office of Academic Support?

The Office of Academic Support is a two-person staff department within the division of Student Life. The Director of the Office for Academic Support, and Amaan Mohiuddin is the Quantitative Skills Specialist & Tutor Program Manager. Academic Support staff members are supervised by Steve Abrahão, Associate Dean of Students for Academic Life.

We are housed in the Academic Resource Center/Dorothy Johansen House (a/k/a “The DoJo”). Our work includes:

  • Oversight of the peer tutoring program, including drop-in tutoring and the Writing Center
  • One-on-one academic coaching meetings with students
  • Group workshops for quantitative and study skills.

When should I refer a student to Academic Support?

Academic Support staff members are available for one-on-one meetings with students. If you are unsure if we are the most appropriate resource for a given situation, feel free to contact us to discuss. We are well connected with other offices on campus, and may suggest other resources either in addition to or in place of a coaching meeting.

Academic Support staff are available to help students learn about tutoring options, and to help them get the most out of their time with a tutor.

Does Academic Support arrange accommodations for students with disabilities?

No. Disability accommodations are managed by the Disability and Accessibility Resources, which is also housed in the Dorothy Johansen House. However, we do work closely with staff in DAR and our two offices exchange student referrals in both directions. For questions about disability support for students, contact

General Tutoring FAQ

What is the tutoring program?

Tutoring at Reed is intended to supplement the in-class experience for students and to provide additional resources to the extent that the professors find this helpful and in support of their course goals. We encourage you to use this resource as appropriate and to share with us your preferences regarding tutoring for each class.

Tutoring is is available to students in two formats:

  • Individual, or one-on-one, tutoring is when a student books an appointment with a tutor online or via email, and they meet at an agreed location for up to one hour per week. Students can also book an individual writing tutor for help with writing for any course.
  • Drop-in tutoring, or group tutoring, is when tutors work regular hours at fixed locations, and students visit them for help without an appointment. You can find the full drop-in tutoring schedule here during the academic year. There are generally special drop-in tutoring hours during the finals period each semester as well.

Who pays for tutor wages?

Tutors are paid from the the Office of Academic Support budget.

How can I see the tutors listed for my course?

An up-to-the-minute list of available individual tutors is always available online. The current drop-in tutoring schedule can also be found online.

What if I don't want tutors for my course?

Faculty members always have final say on tutoring availability for their courses. If you do not want to offer peer-tutoring support for your course, just let us know by emailing We will notify any students that had been listed as tutors.

What is the maximum amount of tutoring a student can receive?

Students at Reed are eligible to receive up to one hour of individual tutoring per week, per course (for courses that offer tutoring). We occasionally make exceptions to this limit for specific students, typically at the request of the instructor. For courses with scheduled drop-in tutoring, students may attend as many drop-in sessions as they like; drop-in tutoring visits do not count toward a student's weekly individual tutoring limit.

Individual Tutoring FAQ

What services does an individual writing tutor provide?

Individual writing tutors are Reed undergraduates who have been recommended by faculty to tutor their peers based on their writing skills and/or experience providing feedback on peer writing. These tutors can meet with any Reed undergraduate for up to one hour per week to offer advice and feedback on any paper or writing assignment.

These tutors only help with issues related to writing; for instance, they may assist students with brainstorming responses to an assignment, developing arguments or analyzing evidence, or structuring and proofreading a draft. They may also help with other writing-related issues such as grammar, syntax, and diction.

Individual writing tutors do not typically assist students with understanding coursework; students are referred back to faculty or course-specific tutors for those needs.

Can students who use an individual writing tutor also use the Writing Center?

Yes. Students who work with an individual writing tutor may also visit the Writing Center during its operating hours. Students may use the drop-in services of the Writing Center as frequently as they choose each week.

What is the difference between a thesis tutor for writing and an individual writing tutor?

All writing tutors are eligible to serve as thesis tutors. Academic Support provides students working on a thesis with up to one and a half hours per week of tutoring for writing. The additional half-hour allotted for working with thesising seniors allows the tutor to review longer sections of text ahead of a tutoring session or otherwise help the student grapple with the thesis process.

Thesis tutors will focus on writing-related issues, and are trained to refer students back to faculty advisers for questions or help with the subject matter of their thesis.

Is there a way for students to find a writing tutor with a background in my department or course?

Yes; we ask individual writing tutors to create a biographical note for themselves in which they identify their majors and/or academic areas where they have significant experience. Students seeking a tutor can then search the list of tutors for those with backgrounds in specific disciplines.

Drop-in Tutoring FAQ

What services does a drop-in tutor provide?

Drop-in tutors are department-specific tutors that are able to assist students with course content and homework in group settings.

Drop-in tutoring is held at several locations around campus, in the evenings of most nights before a class. The locations for drop-in tutoring each semester are posted on the drop-in tutoring schedule page.

How is drop-in tutoring different from individual tutoring?

There is no limit to the number of hours that a student may access drop-in tutoring, unlike individual tutoring. Additionally, this allows students the opportunity to work collaboratively with peers and a variety of tutors.

How can I see the current drop-in tutor schedule?

The current drop-in schedule can be accessed on the Drop-In Schedule page. Note: you'll need to log in with your Reed ID in order to maintain privacy and security protocol.

Workshop FAQ

Can I request a workshop for my course?

Yes, absolutely! Academic Support staff members regularly offer outside-the-classroom workshops on study skills and quantitative skills. Some of these are scheduled in advance and offered to any interested students, while some are offered in consultation with faculty members and are targeted at students in a particular course.

If you would like to request a workshop, contact the Tutor Program Coordinator to begin the process. We encourage suggestions for brand-new workshop topics, but please be aware that it takes more time to plan a new workshop than to offer an existing workshop.

For more information about workshops, see our Academic Workshops page.

What are some previous workshop topics?

  • Algebra Refresher
  • Calculus Refresher
  • Dimensional Analysis & Significant Figures
  • Intro to Excel
  • Into to LaTeX
  • Logarithms Refresher
  • Reading and Note-Taking
  • Stoichiometry, Waves, & Light Review
  • Time Management
  • Conference Participation