Learning Commons

Overview of Tutoring at USM

Through partnerships with academic departments at USM, we are able to offer tutoring in multiple subject areas at the Learning Commons. We are a peer support service, meaning that all of our tutors are current USM students who have completed a nationally-accredited tutor training program.

Tutoring is NOT just for students who are struggling, but also for those who want to excel academically. Many of the students who come for tutoring are USM’s best students, since they know it will help them stay on top!

As a USM student, you are allowed two appointments per week per subject area. For example, you can schedule two writing appointments as well as two math appointments. There are also some drop-in groups, which do not count towards the two appointments in that subject. Appointments are available in Gorham, Portland, LAC, and online.

Please feel free to drop by The Learning Commons in Portland or Gorham, or the Writing Center at Lewiston-Auburn College. If there is a tutor available, he or she will be happy to work with you. It is always best, though, to plan ahead and schedule an appointment in advance. This is especially true toward the end of the semester.

What Tutoring IS

  • Engaging in academic “time on task”
  • Developing effective learning strategies
  • Discussing topics actively
  • Building confidence as a learner

What Tutoring IS NOT

  • Completing homework assignments
  • Submitting a paper for editing
  • Attending without participating
  • Replacing class time

Preparing for Your Tutoring Appointment

  1. Put some work into the subject/task beforehand.
  2. Bring your questions and ideas regarding the concept or assignment, along with the original assignment.
  3. Bring all the materials you’ve been using so far in the course (handouts, notes, textbook, syllabus).
  4. Review our policies and expectations. To view the guidelines, please click HERE.

Group Tutoring

Collaborative learning provides an opportunity to "self-test" one's understanding of a concept. One of the best ways to structure this practice is via group tutoring. This combines the benefits of STUDYING IN GROUPS with the supportive guidance of a tutor being part of the process. Some of the tutors elect to work with more than one student during any of their tutoring appointments. When you visit our ONLINE SCHEDULING SYSTEM to make an appointment, you can see below a tutor's name if he or she allows a group (for example, "Allows 3 member groups"). If a student has already reserved one of the tutoring slots for the group, it will indicate this when you hover over the appointment time, and it will ask if you would like to also have one of the group appointments still available.