Faculty Resources

Academic Assistance services are proven to help students persist and succeed at PLU, but we are also here to serve and assist faculty. Tutors and Peer Learning Specialists can collaborate with you to make class visits, put on skills workshops, facilitate test review sessions, and more, as you think creatively about how we can help your students learn most effectively.

Academic Assistance Tutors Information

Who are the tutors?

Our subject tutors are undergraduate PLU students who have successfully completed the lower-division courses in their major area and meet our minimum GPA of 3.3 in their major area and 3.0 cumulative. They are trained according to national College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) guidelines and after 10 hours of training and 25 hours of tutoring experience, they receive CRLA tutor certification.

Our peer learning specialists (PLS) are undergraduate PLU students in Humanities and Social Science majors who meet the same GPA standards and receive the same training as the subject tutors but who emphasize academic strategies more broadly. 


What do they do?

All tutors and peer learning specialists welcome students warmly, listen actively and genuinely, and help them appropriately according to their needs. 

  • When a student is stuck on content, the tutor/PLS asks guiding questions, provides explanations and examples where necessary, and watches as the student works through the problem or question.
  • When a student is struggling more broadly with academics, the PLS/tutor provides strategies for managing heavy reading loads, taking and using notes effectively, interpreting assignment prompts, managing time and tasks for long-term and large assignments, thinking critically, and developing metacognition.
  • When a student is struggling with issues that are not academic (emotional, social, financial, physical or mental health, family, or other), the tutor/PLS recognizes the boundaries of their job and helps the student identify and connect with appropriate resources on campus. 

How can the tutors and peer learning specialists help you?

  • Class visits
      • Standard introductory visits at the beginning of the semester to inform students about their services
      • Support with activity in class (this may be more challenging to schedule, but we welcome ideas)
  • Test review sessions
      • Please communicate directly with the tutor(s) in your area to schedule these. We need at least a week’s notice to reserve a room. If you are not sure who the tutor is, call Leslie Foley at 253-535-7520.
  • Skills workshops (possible topics)
    • Documentation (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.)
    • Close reading
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • Metacognition
    • Test preparation
    • Test taking (including test anxiety for levels that are not severe or debilitating — we always recommend the counseling center for that)
    • Other? Feel free to collaborate with tutors in your area to come up with other ideas