The Office of Medical Education (OME) maintains a year-round peer academic support and enrichment tutoring program with both in-person and remote options available. Tutor availability and bandwidth capacity is variable throughout the academic year; therefore, priority of tutor program resources is reserved for students at risk of failure of a currently enrolled course or as recommended by the Advancement Committee. Students demonstrating academic difficulty, or wishing to improve their academic performance, may be identified by the course or clerkship director/coordinator, a level director, the Associate/Assistant Dean for Students, the Directors of Student Wellbeing, the Director of Academic Achievement, or may self-identify to access OME tutoring services through the Medical Student Services Team.
The peer tutoring program is comprised of a cohort of paid MS2, MS3, and MS4 students covering a wide range of academic subjects and skill specialties relevant to pre-clinical and clinical level students. All active peer tutors agree to a minimum availability throughout the year, agree to following administrative expectations, agree to leverage science of learning principles in service delivery, are themselves in good academic standing, and abide by the tenants of professionalism and the requirements of the tutor confidentiality agreement. The tutoring program reserves the right to replace active tutors as needed to ensure programmatic balance and effectiveness during the academic year and based on evolving priority student support needs.
- OME student support staff with no involvement in assessment or promotion decisions may proactively reach out to students demonstrating at-risk academic performance on summative exams (Marginal Pass or Fail) to assess for or recommend appropriate resources of student support, which may include individual peer tutoring (in-person or remote) at no cost to the student.
- The Office of Medical Education reserves resources for, and proactively recommends, optional limited individual peer tutoring or consulting at no cost:
- To students who meet criteria for course academic support
- To students who meet criteria for national exams preparedness support (NBME, USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK)
- OME defines the “criteria for course academic support” as a student who fails a summative exam within a level of the curriculum or is at risk of failing a course or clerkship rotation (e.g., marginally passing exams). OME defines the “criteria for national exams preparedness support” as a student who is at risk of failing (as evidenced by LCOM academic metrics and NBME self-assessment metrics) or has previously failed an NBME Subject or USMLE examination.
- OME refers students both meeting the criteria for academic support (710.10.4), and agreeing to receive optional peer tutoring services, to a primary peer tutor (i.e., “tutor match”) at no cost for a maximum of 12 optional session hours. Students may not receive more than four hours of tutoring services in a given week. After 12 hours of tutoring is received, the student may request approval of additional tutoring hours from the Director of Academic Achievement. Approval of additional hours may be granted as part of the student’s academic support planning, which requires a meeting with the Director of Academic Achievement and consultation with the primary peer tutor. Students requesting additional hours attest that they are attending all required course activities and are accessing optional review sessions provided by faculty or TA’s. Students meeting the criteria for academic support may also request an additional tutor referral to ensure their content needs are comprehensively covered (i.e., establish a “tutor network”).
- Students who do not meet the criteria for academic support (710.10.4) can request individual peer tutoring services for supplemental academic support or learner enrichment, including USMLE preparation tutoring and consultation. Such requests will be reviewed relative to current tutor availability; priority of tutor program resources is reserved for students at risk of failure of a currently enrolled course or as recommended by the Advancement Committee.
- All LCOM students may attend available group tutoring or workshop sessions at no cost during the academic year on a space-available basis. Attendance at these group sessions has no impact on hour limits issued for individual work with an assigned tutor.
- Tutors may individually or collaboratively provide small group sessions or specific workshops approved by the Director of Academic Achievement. There is no incremental increase in hourly reimbursement when the tutor works with more than one student. Compensation for preparation time necessary for delivering small groups or workshops is always arranged with and pre-approved by the Director of Academic Achievement.
- Students receiving tutoring services from OME are expected to:
- Take responsibility for proactively arranging appointments with their assigned tutor.
- Regularly attend scheduled Vermont Integrated Curriculum (VIC) learning activities, including but not limited to all classes, laboratories, and structured review sessions. Tutoring is not a replacement for the scheduled curriculum.
- Prepare for tutoring sessions in advance.
- Keep scheduled appointments with tutors.
- Notify OME when they are no-longer planning on working with a matched peer tutor.
- Only schedule sessions with tutors they have been officially matched with through OME.
- Only schedule and receive tutoring services for the amount of hours approved per the tutor match email.
- Discuss any need for additional hours with the Director of Academic Achievement.
- All students providing primary, group, or supplemental tutoring services for OME:
- Are expected to exhibit professionalism, integrity, openness to feedback.
- Are hired by OME on a temporary hourly basis and provide tutoring services only in content or process areas they have developed mastery in. If a tutor is not comfortable effectively tutoring on certain academic material, it is their responsibility to discuss this with the Director of Academic Achievement prior to delivering services.
- Only deliver services to tutees they have been officially matched with by the Director of Academic Achievement.
- Tutors are expected to keep their appointments and make every effort to give tutees reasonable notice if they need to cancel or reschedule a session.
- Have an ethical responsibility to ensure they are prepared for all sessions and offer individualized interventions that are attuned to the developing needs of their tutee.
- Agree to keep any tutee information confidential per the signed Confidentiality Agreement; tutors are encouraged to contact OME directly if they have concerns about a tutee’s personal and/or professional success.
- May only discuss information about a student’s progress with either the student receiving support (matched tutee) or Director of Academic Achievement or Dean for Students. Peer tutors are not permitted to discuss individuals they are working with to other peer tutors or any member of LCOM staff or faculty community that has a role in academic assessment or promotion. Tutors can discuss de-identified case-examples with active tutors for the sole purpose of sharing best-practices or developing as a provider or tutoring services.
- Agree not to access, review, or disclose student information without specific authorization from the Office of Medical Education.
- Agree to attend any required tutor training or onboarding sessions (online or in-person).
- Agree to submit required tutoring data in a timely and accurate manner per current timesheet and data reporting instructions.
- Agree to notify the Director of Academic Achievement if they wish to not deliver any academic services with remote options (e.g., web conferencing).
- Can be compensated for 30-minutes of preparation time for each hour of individual services delivered, and not exceeding 60-minutes per student per week, unless approved by the Director of Academic Achievement. Tutors can be compensated for 30-minutes of preparation time for all group sessions delivered.
- Peer tutors who are also Teaching Assistants (TA’s) may provide tutoring during their TA assignment only if the course director for their TA assignment confirms that the TA does not have prior access to exam questions or has no role in curating or developing exam questions. Peer Tutors are not authorized to bill for services provided in the role of their TA assignment.
- LCOM faculty with a role in student academic assessment and promotion decisions refer all tutors to discuss tutee progress and concerns with the Director of Academic Achievement and/ or Associate Dean for Students. These faculty members may meet with the Director of Academic Achievement to discuss student academic progress and concerns relevant to any students in their current course to inform comprehensive academic support. The Director of Academic Achievement has no role in assessment and promotion decisions for any LCOM student.
- Requests for additional individual tutoring hours are reviewed by the Director of Academic Achievement. Additional hours are approved accordingly if it is determined that additional hours of tutoring services are essential to an individualized academic success plan that maintains satisfactory academic status. Determination is based on the student’s narrative request, unique academic needs, academic performance (exams, RQ’s), regular class attendance, and use of all other available non-tutor resources (e.g., TA review sessions, group tutoring sessions). Any requests for additional hours that are denied may be appealed to the Associate Dean for Students, who reviews and makes a final determination for that request.
Applicability of the Policy
All Medical Students
Related Larner College of Medicine Policies
Related University of Vermont Policies
Related Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)
11.1 Academic Advising
- 7/16/2013 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
- 9/2/2015 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
- 12/8/2015 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
- 12/17/2019 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
- 9/18/2023 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
Associate/Assistant Dean for Students (Director of Academic Achievement)
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