Tutorials

FACULTY HANDBOOK: Academic Policies and Procedures

Tutorials are an opportunity to develop special research projects or areas of focused study for those students who have demonstrated the ability to work independently. Given the demands on faculty time, faculty members are expected to reserve tutorials for those particular situations where supplemental courses are essential to a student’s plan or where focused study broadens the curriculum for small groups doing advanced work within a discipline. Faculty are not expected to offer tutorials each term, but are rather encouraged to reserve tutorials for special situations. Visiting faculty are not expected to offer tutorials.

Generally tutorials are for students doing advanced work in a discipline and, therefore, not appropriate for first-year students. First-year students are sometimes admitted into group tutorials in their second term. All students are welcome to approach faculty to propose a tutorial topic; all faculty are free to say no. On occasion a faculty member will want to work with a student or group of students on developing ideas or work begun in a class. Certain disciplines have created small group tutorials or advanced projects classes to meet the need of upper-class students working on various projects. Most students (with the exception of graduate students) should not register for more than one tutorial in a given term. Tutorials can be offered for 1-4 credits.

To apply to offer a tutorial, faculty must fill out the application available at the Office of the Registrar and submit it to the relevant Curriculum Coordinator. Faculty should, of course, only propose tutorials in areas in which they have some expertise. The Coordinator will then review the application, follow up on any concerns, and forward the application to the registrar. If approved, the registrar will then add the course to the student’s schedule; if not approved, the registrar will return the application to the Curriculum Coordinator for clarification and discussion.

Ideally, all tutorial requests would be initiated before registration. In practice, the system can still accommodate applications given during the first week of each term. Late applications jeopardize students’ academic status and financial aid, since both are tied to enrollment status.

Any questions about whether or not to offer a tutorial in a particular subject should be brought to the relevant Curriculum Coordinator.