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CFAA - Tutoring

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who do you tutor?

The resources of CFAA-Tutoring are available to all ETSU students, faculty, and staff. Our primary clients, however, are ETSU students at all grade levels, from freshmen through graduate students. Some come for help at an instructor’s suggestion; others come because they are struggling with a course and hope that tutoring will improve their skills or their grade. Still other students come to simply ask a question or do their homework in an environment where assistance is readily available.

2. How much does it cost?

Tutoring at the CFAA is free for all currently-enrolled ETSU students, faculty, and staff.

3. What courses do you tutor?

The Center employs tutors capable of tutoring in three broad academic areas -- writing, mathematics, and the natural sciences. 

In addition, our staff members can tutor any course that they have earned a B+ or better in and that they feel comfortable and capable tutoring. This means the courses we are capable of supporting -- beyond general writing, math, and science courses -- change from year to year, but this also means that we can support literally hundreds of courses. For instance, during the 2013-2014 academic year we tutored students in over 400 different courses. If you need help in a class at ETSU, even in an obscure area or subject, check with us!

4. What if I need help in a course you don't tutor?

In some areas tutoring is available in that academic department. Students who are economically or in other ways eligible can also get extended services through Student Support Services (SSS) and other TRIO programs.

If no one currently on our staff can tutor your subject, help is not available within the department, and/or you do not qualify for SSS, we can still help you find a tutor.  If you can find 3 additional students in your class who will commit to attending tutoring sessions, we will attempt to identify and hire a tutor specifically for that class. Lastly, we will refer you to Tutor Matching Service (TMS). Tutors, many of them former or current CFAA tutors, have profiles on TMS. If they have completed tutor training through the CFAA, they may have been given an ETSU "Certified" badge. However, if you engage a tutor via TMS, you will be responsible for paying them directly. 

5. Who are the CFAA’s tutors?

The Center mainly employs tutors capable of tutoring in three broad academic areas — writing, mathematics, and the natural sciences.

These tutors are undergraduates, graduates, and professional tutors, as well as faculty volunteers, from a variety of majors and backgrounds. All of them participate in general tutoring training as well as ongoing professional development in their discipline.

6. What are your services?

We offer a variety of services to suit the learning needs of ETSU's diverse student population. These include Individual Tutoring, Drop-in Tutoring, Online Tutoring, and the English Table.

Individual Tutoring: Individual tutoring is available on a walk-in and appointment basis (walk-ins are accepted if appropriate staff members are available) in the following areas for students enrolled in any course: Writing and Mathematics. Based on the availability of tutoring staff, we may also offer one-on-one tutoring in Public Speaking, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Languages & Humanities.

Supplemental Instruction

Online Tutoring: The Learning Blog is our central hub for online tutoring, and offers access to three modes of online tutoring: Live Writing and Math Tutoring, D2L Support, and The Learning Blog. For students working on writing projects or PowerPoint presentations, we offer Live Writing Tutoring using the WCOnline system. Students living off-campus or taking courses online can make an online writing appointment with a tutor anytime during our regular operating hours by selecting Writing-Online under the "limits" on the CFAA's online schedule. Online Math help can be requested via the Math-Help link on the Learning Blog. We also support numerous courses with D2L sites that feature helpful content (notes, practice problems and tests, links) and active discussion boards. Each D2L site is monitored by CFAA staff  and updated with information provided by faculty and successful students.  The Learning Blog itself offers original articles as well as links to helpful tips, notes, practice problems, tests, and learning objects to assist students taking courses in the general education core. The blog is updated and checked daily to respond to student questions and comments.

The English Table: The English Table offers ETSU’s international community – students, visiting scholars, faculty, friends and family – a weekly venue for learning about American language and culture. The meetings are highly interactive and the focus is on building practical conversation, listening, and “college survival” skills to help international students get the most out of their ETSU experience.


7. What information should students know before making an appointment to see a tutor?

The following information is part of the "tutoring contract" that students agree to when accepting our assistance:

1) The tutor will not do my work for me. The tutor's job is to assist me in mastering course material and developing my skills by providing examples, asking questions, pointing out areas for improvement, engaging in a dialogue about my subject matter, and/or discussing study strategies and techniques.

2) The tutor is not responsible for my grade; the tutor is also not able to forecast the grade my instructor will give me.

3) While I may request a specific tutor, I am not guaranteed to be able to work with him or her every time.

4) Even when I have booked an individual appointment, my appointment may be combined with that of another student if we are working on the same subject matter and additional tutors are not available.

5) I will come to my session adequately prepared, with necessary materials, and take an active role in the session.

6) My tutoring session will last no longer than the scheduled time and may be shortened to accommodate students with appointments if no other staff members are available.

7) Learning is a process that takes time and consists of numerous stages. In order to make the best use of the CFAA’s tutoring services, I should visit early and often.

8) I am aware that I am limited to one tutoring session per subject per day.

9) If I schedule an appointment, it is my responsibility to call and cancel or re-schedule if I can’t make it; after two missed appointments, I will no longer be permitted to make appointments during that term.

10) I will evaluate each session I participate in, online or on paper, to provide the CFAA with necessary feedback for improving tutoring services.

8. Can people who are not ETSU students receive tutoring assistance?

The CFAA is a student fee-supported facility; as a result, our primary service community is ETSU students, followed by ETSU faculty and staff. People who are not ETSU students, faculty, or staff are not permitted, at this time, to make tutoring appointments. If someone who is not an ETSU student makes an appointment (or has one made for him or her), we are not obligated to honor that appointment. Office workers making appointments should require that ETSU students give their E-numbers when completing initial registration information. Clients may be asked to present a valid ETSU ID when receiving or requesting services.The only service we offer that is open to students not affiliated to ETSU is the English Table, which is open to all.

Currently, we partner with Tutor Matching Service to provide community members with information regarding paid, private tutoring. Tutoring contracted through TMS is not under the authority or supervision of the CFAA or any unit of ETSU; we do, however, permit TMS private tutors who have completed the CFAA's tutor training program and at least one term of supervised tutoring to display the "ETSU Certified" badge.

9. Can University High School or other local school students receive tutoring at the CFAA?

No, but they can contract with paid, private tutors through Tutor Matching Service.

10. Can we tutor high school students who are dual-enrolled in ETSU courses?

Yes: dual-enrolled students are treated the same as any other ETSU students.

11. Are there any services that community members can use?

Yes. Community members are welcome to participate in the English Table (see link for day/time).

12. When are tutoring and other services available?

Our academic year schedule excluding university holidays is Mondays – Thursdays, 9 am to 9 pm; Fridays, 9 am to 4 pm; and Sundays, 3 pm to 9 pm. Tutoring services typically begin the second week of the current term. Due to the majority of our tutors being students themselves, we are not open during finals week.

13.  Are appointments required?

Appointments are strongly encouraged for individual tutoring. Although it is often possible to walk-in and get an appointment immediately, especially near the beginning of the term, students with advance appointments have priority. You can make an appointment by registering for access to our online schedule here.

Supplemental Instruction and the English Table do not require advance appointments; the drop-in and English Table schedules are posted on the Supplemental Instruction page (and on PlanIt ETSU) and updated regularly.

14. How does a client request a tutor or register for other services?

Registration via WCOnline ( is required for all services that require scheduling; the only exceptions are exclusively drop-in services, such as Facilitated Study Tables, English Table, and Supplemental Instruction. Any student who has registered can request a tutor.

15. How do clients schedule appointments?

Clients can call the Center (439-7111) to make an appointment or, if they have already registered, make their own appointments online at

16. How far in advance do appointment have to be made?

Clients can call the Center (439-7111) to make an appointment at any time for any day/time during the current term. Clients making their own appointments online, however, are prohibited from making appointments more than two weeks in advance; they are also prohibited from making “last minute” appointments (i.e. appointments within one hour of the current time) or back-to-back appointments.

17. Can clients cancel or re-schedule appointments?

Clients can cancel or reschedule their appointments online up to 1 hour before the appointment is scheduled. If they want to cancel or reschedule less than 1 hour before the appointment, they will be blocked from altering the appointment online and prompted to call the Center to cancel the appointment. This is so that the Front Desk staff is made aware that an appointment time has opened up. Call 439-7111 to cancel or reschedule an appointment.

18. What happens when a client doesn’t show?

Clients who are 10 minutes later are considered "no shows" and their Client Reports are marked accordingly. They are then sent an email warning them that after two no-shows in one semester their account will be locked and they will be unable to make any new appointments; this may be appealed, in person, to the CFAA Director or his designee only.

19. What if a client is late?

If a client is running late, the tutor will remain available for 10 minutes before they are reassigned to a waiting client. Session time cannot be made up – the session will still end at the appointed time.

20. Do clients with appointments have priority over walk-ins?

Students with appointments are our first priority. However, we will make every effort to take walk-ins.

21. How long are individual tutoring sessions?

Appointments are scheduled in hour-long blocks, but sessions are limited to 45-50 minutes. The additional 10 minutes is necessary so that our tutors can submit Client Reports and have a short break between sessions.

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