Frequently Asked Questions
[ITAP | Math Placement Testing | SSS | Tutees | Tutors]
What are the differences between Student Support Services (SSS) and Learning Resources Center (LRC) in the area of tutoring?
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-to-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/
Frequently Asked Question about Mathematics Placement Testing at UMBC (pdf)
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. Be sure to 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?
Basic necessities like Social Security numbers are given out, 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 consisting 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 less, 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 there are two ways to sign up for tutoring. You can fill out the LRC Tutoring Enrollment Form or you can come to the front office, ACIV B-wing Room 345, and fill out a form there. The Math Lab and Writing Center are walk-in labs, so there are tutors available the entire time they are open. Therefore, you can just visit them and find a tutor.
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?
No, at this time we are only able to offer tutoring for 100 and 200 level courses. Our one exception is the Writing Center which 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?
It can take from one day to a week to get contacted about tutoring. It depends on how many hours we have open and how many tutors we have for that subject. If we cannot assign you immediately you will be contacted within the week to let you know about the status of your tutoring. Most contact takes place over email. If you do not check email, we will call you.
I'm in the Student Support Services Program. Can I get a tutor through LRC also?
No, the SSS is a separate program and provides it's own tutors. Please contact the SSS for more information.
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 other people that are in your same course. 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. Other than that scenario we ask that anyone not getting tutored not attend the session.
Can I eat lunch while getting tutored?
You are not allowed to eat lunch in the tutoring rooms. We would like to keep these rooms as clean as possible. Along with this, eating would be distracting to anyone else in your session.
Do you have one to one tutors?
All of our tutoring is done in small groups, meaning 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 can tell Sam Riley and she will see what she can do to rectify the situation. This may consist of getting you another tutor but it is not guaranteed.
Do I have to pay for tutoring?
No, tutoring is a free service supplied by the University.
If I need additional help on the outside of UMBC, what is the process?
If you want additional help in a specific course, speak to the subject coordinator they usually know of additional services that they can recommend.
How long has LRC been in this location?
This is our NEWEST location! We moved once in August 2003 and we moved again in late August 2004 and are very happy with the much needed additional space. Hope you like it!
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 either fill out an application (Info. for Tutors for directions) and e-mail it to Sam Riley, or come to ACIV 345 and pick up an application in person.
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 make $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 he/she first report for tutoring in room 345?
The student should sign in on the LRC computer located on the right side of the desk. Then you should look on the chalkboard at the right of the office for your tutors name. Go to the room that the name is next too. If you do not see their name on the board, sit in the waiting area for them to show up.
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.