Policies, Fees, Scheduling, Prep Time

Scheduling

It is up to the peer tutor and tutee to determine where, when, and for how long to meet. Please keep in mind that you are both busy students, and planning ahead for your meetings will ensure that the peer tutoring will go more smoothly.

Please review the 24 Hours/48 Hours/10 Days Policy (see next tab) for information on the policies regarding the timing of the first contacts and first meeting of peer tutors and tutees.

24 Hours/48 Hours/10 Days Policy

In recent years, the BSC has experienced an increase in peer tutoring demand and also an increase in the number of instances in which a peer tutor-tutee assignment is made but then the peer tutor and tutee never meet. The peer tutor sometimes feels a responsibility to the assigned tutee to remain available and so defers accepting new peer tutoring requests. The following policy has been put in place as of Fall 2018 to recognize peer tutoring as a limited and valuable community resource and to prioritize tutees who are currently ready and able to begin their peer tutoring:

• Peer tutors are required to contact their tutee(s) within 24 hours of receiving an email confirming the assignment.
• Tutees are required to respond to peer tutors within 48 hours of a peer tutor’s contact.
• Peer tutor and tutee are required to have their first meeting within 10 days of the assignment. (We understand that scheduling can be a challenge, but we expect that a meeting will take place within a 10-day period unless there are extenuating circumstances that prevent a timely meeting.)

If the tutee does not respond to the peer tutor within 48 hours, and/or if the tutee does not commit to a scheduled meeting with their peer tutor in the near future, then the peer tutor, per the BSC policy, can cancel the assignment. (The peer tutor is not required to cancel the assignment but is encouraged to prioritize being available to tutees who are currently ready and able to participate in peer tutoring.) After an assignment is canceled, the tutee is welcome to submit a new peer tutoring request once they are ready and available to meet with a peer tutor.

Cancellations

To cancel a tutoring session, tutees are required to notify their peer tutor 24 hours in advance. Peer tutors have a right to charge for one hour if a tutee cancels the session with less than 24 hours’ notice.  Peer tutors are expected to provide tutees with at least 24 hours’ notice if they need to cancel a session.

Late arrivals

If a tutee is significantly late (15 minutes or more), a peer tutor is permitted to charge for the full time of the tutoring sessions.

No-shows

If a tutee does not show up for a scheduled tutoring session, the peer tutor is permitted to charge for one hour.

To avoid these fees, for each tutoring session, the peer tutor and tutee should confirm, in writing, the date, time, location, and planned duration of the session.

Prep Time

By advance mutual agreement between the peer tutor and tutee, the peer tutor may charge up to 30 minutes of preparation "prep" time for each tutoring session.  Peer tutors need to request permission each time they plan to use prep time.  The cost of prep time to the Harvard College tutee is also subsidized by the College, e.g., thirty minutes of prep time costs \$3.50, and is further reimbursed in proportion to the student’s financial aid package.  In the email the tutee receives each week containing the peer tutor’s reported hours, the email will also indicate which portion of the peer tutor’s time is being charged as prep time, if any.

Use of Electronic Media

Peer tutoring must take place in person, rather than electronically (e.g., via email, video chat, or social networks). The use of electronic communications is certainly appropriate for scheduling and logistical issues, but not for peer tutoring meetings.

Although we understand it may seem more convenient, some of the reasons electronic peer tutoring is not allowed include:

• Keeping track of electronic tutoring hours can be complicated and unwieldy - and a source of misunderstanding about what constitutes "billable" tutoring time.
• The potential for plagiarism (whether intentional or unintentional) increases when the tutor provides content in a format that can easily be cut and pasted.
• It is difficult to maintain boundaries on tutor availability once the door to electronic communications is opened; the BSC's Peer Tutoring Program does not expect tutors to be available 24/7 via electronic means, even for "quick questions."
• Effective peer tutoring requires close attention to nonverbal cues; this kind of awareness is difficult to achieve using electronic means.
• The BSC's Peer Tutoring Program is private in accordance with FERPA and Harvard College policies, and electronic media are not private.