Woman leads tutoring session in classroom.

What is Embedded Tutoring?

The Embedded Tutoring program at Mission College focuses on using embedded tutors to provide more individualized attention and assistance during class activities, and to motivate students’ participation and engagement in a classroom setting.

Embedded tutoring is a form of Supplemental Instruction (SI), based on the model developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

In embedded tutoring, a tutor works in the classroom under the instructor's guidance to help students understand course concepts and enhance student engagement. The tutor may attend all, or only certain class meeting days each week. In the classroom, the tutor functions as:

  • a peer tutor, providing support to students as they work with the class content and texts.
  • a mentor, helping students foster connections with support services
  • a model student, demonstrating effective student behaviors and successful academic habits

Role of Embedded Tutors

The Embedded Tutor may engage in the following types of activities:

  • help facilitate small group exercises or discussions
  • offer the perspective of an experienced student in class discussions
  • work with individual students who require additional support during class activities
  • assist students to learn how to effectively utilize software, tools, etc.
  • guide students, provide feedback, and answer questions during in-class hands-on practice

Things the Embedded Tutor not permitted to do:

  • teach new concepts the course instructor has not already introduced
  • lead the class without the instructor present
  • grade assignments
  • enforce class management or discipline policies
  • function as a personal assistant to the instructor

It is important for the course instructor to consider how the tutor will be engaged in class during each individual class meeting, and design class activities that include active tutor participation.

Focus Areas for Embedded Tutoring

The program seeks to provide peer-embedded support in basic skills and transfer-level courses, as well as courses that are pre-requisites for a wide variety of majors that lead to completion of degrees or certificates, including AB705-aligned support courses such as ENG 1AX and M.A.T 10X.

Request an Embedded Tutor

If you are an instructor and would like an embedded tutor for one of your classes, you should

  1. Complete the following Spring 2024 Embedded Tutor Request Form for your embedded tutor request. All areas of the application should be fully completed, and any additional information specific to your class is appreciated.
  2. If the Tutoring Center is able to place a tutor in your class from currently employed tutors, the Tutoring Center Faculty, Gayathri Chakravarthy, will work together with you to select a qualified tutor.
  3. The course instructor may be responsible for finding a tutor if a qualified individual does not already work at the Tutoring Center. The tutor applicant must meet the Embedded Tutor Criteria (listed below) and complete all necessary employment paperwork, including the ASC Tutor Application Form. The Tutoring Center Coordinator will interview any potential applicants to determine appropriateness for the program.
  1. The course instructor and tutor are responsible for discussing and signing the document in the link below by the first week the tutor begins to work in the classroom.

    Course Instructor-Embedded Tutor Agreement (M.S. Word)
    Course Instructor-Embedded Tutor Agreement (PDF - fillable form)

The deadline to request an embedded tutor for Fall 2024 is Wednesday, December 13th, 2023.

Embedded Tutor Eligibility
  • Successfully completed the course for which he/she will work as an embedded tutor
  • Earned grade of a B or better in the class that he/she will be tutoring and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Interview with Tutoring Center Coordinator
  • Enrollment or completion of the online course INS 10: Peer Tutor and Mentor Training.
  • A recommendation from a Mission College instructor teaching in the discipline for courses the applicant wishes to tutor
    Faculty Recommendation Form (PDF-fillable)
  • Completion of Human Resources required documents

Course Instructor - Embedded Tutor Agreement

By the first week of the tutor's attendance in the course, the instructor and tutor should meet to discuss this document, along with the goals and expectations of their professional relationship. A clear understanding of each partner's responsibilities is the first step toward a successful collaborative experience. If either party is unwilling or unable to meet the responsibilities outlined in this document, they should contact Chia Green immediately.

Embedded Tutor Work Log

Each class meeting, the tutor will bring to class a work log. The course instructor is to sign this log to verify that the tutor was indeed present in class on that day.

What They Are Saying - Faculty

Linda Retterath, Math Instructor

Embedded tutoring has really been helpful in my developmental math classes. The tutor is another person that can help students when I give students a problem to try in class. In large classes, I can’t help each student, so having a tutor really helps. If I have group work, the tutor can circulate and answer questions and help students.

The students then get to know the tutor, so more students go to tutoring (which they need!). Sometimes the tutor has a different, but helpful, way of explaining a concept. The tutor can be less threatening that an instructor and some students are more comfortable talking with another student. The tutor is also familiar with my teaching methods and I think that helps the tutor be more effective when they work with students, in and out of the classroom. Also, the tutor can be an example of a student who has succeeded to transfer level Math. I really haven’t had to modify the way I teach. The tutors have all been excellent. I highly recommend getting an embedded tutor!

Sarah Sullivan, Reading Instructor

I have been involved with embedded tutoring for the past three semesters, and I highly recommend this program! My students have benefited tremendously from working with an embedded tutor. In fact, at the end of each of the classes in which an embedded tutor worked, I anonymously polled students as to the benefit they received. The response has been extremely positive with students expressing that they felt comfortable asking the tutor for help, and that they learned more in an environment where they had a tutor they could relate to and that could provide modeling and support in a way that felt comfortable and relevant. Many of my students also expressed that they often do not have the time to go to the Academic Support Center, and that having a tutor in class helped them in “real time” as they were struggling with difficult texts.

I have found that embedded tutors are helpful in many ways. First, they model effective student engagement and behavior. I tell my embedded tutors that they are demonstrating what it means to be active in the class. When I am providing instruction, the tutor acts similar to an enrolled student. He or she takes notes, asks questions and actively participates. This shows students, many of whom do not have the habits of mind of an effective college student, how to be more active, engaged and willing to participate. Many times I have found that the embedded tutor provides the modeling that encourages students to speak up, ask questions and join in discussion.

Having an embedded tutor in the class has also been very helpful in providing students with a window into the mind of a more advanced student. In addition to modeling student engagement, the most effective setting for our embedded tutors has been to in partners and small groups while students wrestle with texts.

I tell my embedded tutors that they don’t need to be “expert” readers; they just need to be willing to share what happens in their mind while they read and what strategies they use to think about and make sense of texts. This leverages the power of peer-to-peer and social aspects of learning. I have found that students learn best when they are able to process and think with another student. An embedded tutor provides the ideal scaffold for learning. Students learn to think and read in new and deeper ways because they are able to pick up the habits and strategies of the more advanced embedded tutor.

Ashley Faris, Chemistry Instructor

I teach a hybrid course in which having an embedded tutor is invaluable. The hybrid course is structured with the lecture content online and the lab portion in-person twice a week. Since I teach one of the most difficult Chemistry classes, Organic Chemistry, students often struggle and need additional help. I have structured the lab portion of the class to have both group learning activities and problem sets as well as hands-on experiments.

My embedded tutor is of great help on the days we have group learning activities and problems sets because we are both able to answer students’ questions in a timely fashion whereas if I were teaching alone, then some students may not get their questions answered due to limited time. For experiment days, having an embedded tutor is critical.

My class runs some experiments that can be quite dangerous if instructions are not followed correctly. While I am on one side of the classroom helping out a student, my embedded tutor can be helping out another group. My embedded tutor sometimes catches mistakes before they are made by the students.

I did not need to modify my class to use my embedded tutor effectively because I already had these group activities and experiments in place for my course. However, I was fortunate enough to have my embedded tutor in the same class before as a student so she was aware of how I structure the course and the most challenging topics in the class that students struggle with.

Teresa Thompson, Accounting Instructor

Having an Embedded Tutor in my class makes a difference! Students are very comfortable with the tutor and ask more questions when she is present to assist them. It helps put the students at ease and know that the school is focused on their success!

What They Are Saying - Students

"Knowing Mariana was there to help really helped and push me through the class. I was sooo lost at times and she had given me extra assurance I could get through it! I love her!!!"– ACCTG 001B

"It was very helpful having someone other than the teacher to help during labs."– CIS 007

"Bao is really knowledgeable of the class material & explained well until I actually understand the topic."- BIOSC 047

"Huey was very helpful to answer questions and he actively participate in the class activities."– RDG 054 

"Huong was very helpful & patient in getting me to understand a concept."– CHEM 012B 

"Jennifer a super tutor. She attempts to learn subject matter, so she can better assist students. She extreme patient & is aware when her students need assistance, before they approach her."– FDRST 051 

"She is very helpful and has a positive attitude"– ESL 970RV

"Hao was the best tutor I’ve had. He was always there to make sure I understand the material, and when I didn’t understand he would take his time explaining to me how it’s done."– M.A.TH 00C

"Since she was fluent in the language, she was able to help me with pronunciation, sentence structure and reading the language."– Japanese 001 

"Huey was a great addition to our class. His insights & feedback were helpful in the learning of this class. He was great & patient with us."– RDG 054

"Our class tutor was more than willing to aid the students when help was need. He was always very pleasant as well."– M.A.TH 00C

"Kim is very helpful and knowledgeable about the material. She’s very patient and willing to help everyone in class.  Kim help me understand the material in an easy way."– CHEM 001A

"She was extremely helpful. Since Dr. Faris is already busy with other student, it’s helpful that there’s someone else I can ask question to."- CHEM 001A # 5711 

"He is so friendly helpful in our classroom."– ESL 950LS 

"It is nice to have an additional person to help with class questions. Lizette was kind, helpful, and knowledgeable."– COMM 001