The Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes created the position of tutor coordinator in summer 2012. Its purpose is to consolidate some of the duties academic counselors had to perform in addition to counseling.
“(Counselors) can put in the request for the tutor sessions the students are requesting, and they don’t have to worry about it then,” said Susan Maloy, the coordinator who was hired that summer. “Then it becomes my responsibility to try to make something — a schedule — work out for the student ... in a way, we can be a team approach to servicing the student.”
Maloy estimates there are 700 to 800 or more student-athletes and about 90 tutors, so coordinating schedules is not an easy task.
“Our goal is to try to service as many as we can,” Maloy said. “I think we do a fairly good job.”
Besides scheduling, Maloy is also responsible for hiring, training and observing tutors. Maloy said there is always something to do, although she is particularly busy when students get new schedules at the beginning of each semester and prepare for final exams at the end.
Not all student-athletes receive tutoring. It’s required for first-year students, transfer students and those with a GPA below 2.5, said Michelle Brown, director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes. Students who do not fit into one of those categories can request tutoring as well.
The University requires student-athletes to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, which is higher than the NCAA’s sliding scale, which increases based on the number of years a student has been in school. For a first-year student, that would be a GPA of 1.8.
Most tutors are graduate students. All are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree.
According to the Carolina Commitment website, the office stopped “using undergraduate students as tutors except when specific content knowledge is required” in fall 2011. Maloy said they sometimes employ undergraduate tutors if there is no expertise in a specific area, such as a foreign language or an uncommon upper level class. All current tutors have a bachelor’s degree, Maloy said.
Maloy assumed her position in 2012 after working as an academic counselor. An assistant tutor coordinator position was added in 2013, and Ben Sheu took on the role.
“It has definitely been a position that is extremely needed in the sense that we just have so many sessions and so much to handle,” Sheu said. “One person is not enough.”
Maloy’s job also includes compliance, most of which involves educating tutors on what they can and cannot do. For example, tutors cannot loan students money — even $5 for a Subway, Maloy said.
She said there have been no issues with compliance since she has been in her position.
“But we certainly have access to (the tutors) if we ever had a question,” she said.