Students come to colleges and universities to grow into educated and productive members of society. This process is, of course, not entirely dependent on GPA scores but success in classes is a major factor in a student’s enjoyment of university and motivation in continuing their education. Studies have shown that low grades are connected to dropout rates as well as stress and anxiety experienced by students. Thankfully, both professional and peer tutors are able to help students increase their grades and become more confident academics – the tutors even get something out of the exchange too!
low grades are the reason for 45 percent of dropouts in the first and second year of university, and thirty-six percent of dropouts in the first three years
Student academic performance contributes heavily to student dropout rates. The CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity found that low grades are the reason for 45% of dropouts in the first and second year of university, and thirty-six percent of dropouts in the first three years (Stinebrickner & Stinebrickner, 2013). Students with a first-year postsecondary GPA of 60% or lower were 3.57 times more likely to drop out of postsecondary education than students with a GPA of 90%, 2.22 times more likely to drop out of postsecondary education than students with a GPA of 80%, and 1.92 times more likely to drop out of postsecondary education than students with a GPA of 70% . When a student’s grades are falling, support is needed to help them remain in school.
Tutoring has a significantly positive impact on students’ academic performance. An extensive study published in the Journal of College Reading and Learning compared tutored and un-tutored students who had to repeat a university-level class due to poor grades. Compared to students who did not receive tutoring, those who received tutoring demonstrated a higher increase in their overall grade from their first attempt to their second. Both groups of students did see an overall increase in grades, however, the increase was significantly greater for the students who received tutoring. (Colver & Fry, 2016). This article then went on to demonstrate that students who received routine tutoring in their first attempt at a course also achieved higher grades than students who did not attend. In a self-assessment of the reflections on tutoring, students also said they felt tutoring helped them improve on assignments and made them more confident in their courses (Colver & Fry, 2016).
The tutor does not have to be professionally trained to have an impact on student’s performance – student tutors can have a positive impact on grades too. Senior students at the University of Granada in Spain were given three training sessions and led structured, individual weekly tutoring sessions to students in varying majors. Students who took part in the tutoring sessions had a significant increase in GPA by the end of the semester (Arco-Tirado, Fernández-Martín, & Hervás-Torres, 2019). Not only that, but the tutors themselves may have also benefitted from these sessions.
Tutoring does not only benefit those who seek help. A study completed at the University of Salford found that peer tutoring helps both the student as well as the tutor. In this study, final year students of the undergraduate Sports Science program at Salford provided tutoring services for two hours each week to second year students in the same program.
After 12 weeks of the program, both tutors and tutees performed better academically (measured as the ability to accurately explain and demonstrate a range of dynamic resistance exercises) than students not part of the tutoring sessions (Comfort & McMahon, 2014).
Tutoring has plenty of benefits, including increasing student’s grades as well as increasing the likelihood that they will graduate their chosen programs. Tutoring does not have to be an expensive venture staffed by only professionals – with just a little training, senior students can also be effective tutors and will also benefit from the sessions themselves. This could not be more important in a university setting, as pressure on students continues to increase.
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