Tutors: Screening and Expectations

Quality Standard

Tutor Preservice Training: The program provides high-quality onboarding and training, tailored to program context.

Critical Questions

  • What are the clear expectations to communicate to tutors during the hiring, training, and onboarding processes?
  • How will the expectations of tutors be reinforced throughout the program?
  • What is the typical length of the required screening (i.e., background check and fingerprinting) process for your OST program?

Implementation Checklist

  • Outline and implement all pre-entry legal requirements based on district, state, and institutional regulations.
  • Ensure tutors and tutoring program leaders are not responsible for simultaneously managing other students attending the OST program.
  • Outline a clear support and management structure for tutors, including who will observe and evaluate tutors.
  • Delineate and communicate all expectations, policies, and procedures to tutors prior to the start of tutoring.
  • Articulate a performance evaluation process to ensure tutors meet performance expectations.
  • Leverage the expectations aligned to culturally responsive and sustaining practices on pages 26-28 of the CR-SE Framework.

Implementation Tools

From Existing Resources:

Key Insights

Know the law (or, more realistically, get counsel from someone who does).

  • Programs need to be aware of all legal requirements, which can vary based on district, state, and institution. Information related to state requirements can typically be found via the state’s Attorney General’s Office. Programs should also check with partner school districts and other institutions to keep abreast of any additional requirements. If available, work with your organization’s existing HR processes to screen and hire tutors. Leave enough time to implement their advice, and plan to address any future changes in regulations or if the program expands to new sites. Devote particular attention to the various state laws around recording sessions, institutional policies around rights and rules, and federal confidentiality legislation (e.g., FERPA).

Set clear expectations for your tutors from the start.

  • Clear expectations provide tutors with a benchmark for self- evaluation, a reference point when expectations are not met, and a way to hold tutors accountable. Because consistency is critical, expectations should not be set lightly; an advisory group or other responsible party should approve them. Programs should review and revise their policies and procedures regularly (both reactively and proactively). Programs should provide orientation for tutors on policies and expectations. Having all tutors sign off on the expectations prior to the start of the program establishes their importance in tutors’ minds and provides legal cover if a tutor fails to meet them. Consider engaging the HR functions within your organization to support you with sharing these expectations with tutors.