Frequently Asked Questions
[ITAP | Math Placement Testing | SSS | Tutees | Tutors]
What are the tutoring differences between Student Support Services (SSS) and Learning Resources Center (LRC)?
LRC provides tutors for most 100- and 200-level classes. This tutoring is provided in LRC's Tutorial Center, Math Lab and Writing Center. These tutoring sessions are mostly small groups. The only exceptions are ESL and Writing Center tutoring.
SSS participants are eligible for one-on-one tutoring in most classes, even 300- and 400-level classes. In addition to one-to-one SSS tutoring services, SSS participants also may take advantage of tutorial services provided by LRC and other tutoring centers on campus.
For more information about Student Support Services visit their web site at www.umbc.edu/sss/
International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP)
When is the ITA Workshop?
The ITA Workshop takes place the second week of August, before the start of the fall semester. Check with the Graduate School for the exact dates, since they change slightly from year to year.
Is the ITA Workshop mandatory for all new ITAs?
Yes, it is mandatory. You will also have the opportunity to sign up for ITA testing during the workshop.
What topics are covered at the Workshop?
The workshop covers basic necessities like Social Security numberst, apartment information, banking accounts, and student ID cards. Specific topics at the workshops for ITAs include: how to communicate in the classroom, an introduction to the American experience, and improving English pronunciation and intonation. The ITA test is also given in the afternoons during the week of the ITA Workshop. Testing continues into the following week.
Do I have to take the ITA test?
If your department wants you to conduct a lab or discussion section-yes, you must take the test. If you will be grading papers or will be a Research Assistant (R.A.), you do not need to take the test.
What is the test like?
The ITA tests your speaking competence in English, your ability to teach, and your ability to answer questions that university students may ask you. The test consists of 1. an interview (5 minutes), 2. a "classroom" presentation (5 minutes), 3. an announcement, and 4. answering student questions. The test is presented in front of a panel of professors from different departments and other professionals on campus.
What if I don't pass the test?
If you receive a score of 2 or below, you will be asked to take English classes that correspond to your score. A "passing" score is 3 and above. If you receive a score of 3 or above, you are capable of taking on classroom duties. Sometimes, you may be asked to take LRC 115 (Advanced Diction) even if you get a score of 3. This is done simply to help you improve on a weak area, for example teaching skills.
How many times can I take the ITA test?
You may take the ITA test once each semester until you pass it. The ITA test is given in August in conjunction with the ITA Workshop and again during the second week of January, before spring semester.
How can I get a tutor?
For appointment tutoring, you can fill out the LRC Tutoring Enrollment Form. The Math Lab and Writing Center are walk-in labs, so there are tutors available during their hours of operation.
Who are the tutors?
The tutors are your fellow students at UMBC that have demonstrated success in the subject they tutor.
How much tutoring can I get a week?
Through appointment tutoring we are only able to provide one hour of tutoring a week for each subject area. If you are using the Math Lab and Writing Center you are more than welcome to use the services as often as you like while they are open.
Can I get tutoring in 300- or 400-level courses?
There is tutoring for limited 300-level courses, mainly CHEM 351 and 352, BIOL 302 and 303, MATH 301, and some 300-level Spanish classes. The Writing Center also will work with you on any paper that you write for any UMBC course.
How long will it take before I'm contacted regarding a tutor? And how will I be contacted?
You should be contacted within the week. It depends on how many hours we have open and how many tutors we have for that subject whether we are able to successfully schedule you. All contact takes place over email.
Is there a limit to how many different classes I can be tutored?
No, you can be tutored in as many classes as you are signed up for as long as they are courses for which we offer tutoring.
How long is the tutoring session?
The tutoring session typically lasts fifty minutes to an hour.
Can I bring my child with me to a tutoring session?
No, all tutoring is done in small groups with fellow classmates. A child in the mix will just provide distraction which would not be fair to the other students getting tutored.
Can I bring my friends with me to a tutoring session?
If your friends are scheduled for the same session, then they will already be there. Otherwise we ask that friends not attend.
Can I eat lunch while getting tutored?
Eating in the tutoring rooms is not permitted. We would like to keep these rooms as clean as possible. Eating could also be distracting to other students participating in the session.
Do you have on-on-one tutors?
All of our appointment tutoring is done in small groups of up to, but not exceeding, four people. Depending on the course and the hour, you might find yourself in a one-on-one situation but that can change anytime over the semester. The only exception to this is ESL tutoring which is all individual.
Can I select my own tutor?
You can write down your preference for a tutor but it is not guaranteed that you will be placed with that person. It all depends on the schedules of you and the tutor.
My tutor and I don't get along, could I get another tutor?
If you are having problems with your tutor you should inform Sam Riley and she will see what she can do to rectify the situation. This may result in you being placed with another tutor but it is not guaranteed.
Do I have to pay for tutoring?
No, tutoring is a free service supplied by the University.
How can I become a tutor?
The minimum requirements for becoming a tutor are an overall GPA of 3.0, a GPA of 3.0 in the subject area you want to tutor and at least 28 credits. If you feel you are qualified please fill out the tutor application.
How much will I make per hour as a tutor?
As a beginning tutor you will make $8.25 per hour. After completing the first level of training and one semester of tutoring you will get a raise to $8.75. If you choose to complete Level 2 training and another semester of tutoring then you will be making $9.25. For the few that complete the third level, becoming a "Master Tutor," and tutor for another semester, you will earn $10.25 per hour.
When will I receive my first paycheck?
When you receive your first paycheck depends on when you are added to the payroll. At the time you meet with the Administrative Assistant to be put on payroll, ask her when you might expect your first check.
What should a new tutee do when they first show for tutoring?
The student should sign in on the computer in the room and then wait for the tutor. If the tutor does not show, please fill out the absentee form so we can try to reschedule you.
How do I get on payroll?
To get on payroll, make an appointment with Lorine Dabeck. She will make all the necessary arrangements.
Where's my timesheet? How do I get one?
Once you are on payroll, your timesheet will be in the sign-in book located in the in the center where you tutor. If you have additional questions, contact your coordinator or Lorine Dabeck.