ASPIRE Peer Tutoring

ASPIRE Peer Tutoring is CRLA Accredited and provides first year medical students with additional resources to help them comprehend course material. The second year students who serve as tutors also help guide first year WVSOM students in transitioning into medical school and succeeding.

The program also gives second year medical students the opportunity to work in a structured and formal tutoring environment. Second year student-tutors, working in a select number of paid work/study positions, are given training and support from the ASPIRE staff on their way to becoming officially accredited tutors. It is the goal of the program that the training and tutoring experience is an effective way for second year students to prepare for Boards and develop lifelong teaching and communication skills.

Sign-Up and Cancelation Procedure

Weekly emails are sent out with the upcoming tutoring schedule and a general reminder of tutoring options and tutor emails.  The schedule shows the times and types of tutoring sessions available for the upcoming week.  Even with drop-in sessions we encourage students to let the tutors know in advance if they are planning to show up and what they would like to work on.  To request an individual session during times offered simply email the tutor directly with your request.  We ask that students be courteous in letting the tutors know if they are unable to make a session they have signed up for with as much advance notice as possible.

Session Options

ASPIRE Peer Tutoring is a flexible program that allows student-tutors to approach tutoring the content in the most effective way possible, depending on the nature of the material being discussed. Below are the current sessions types that we conduct although we are always looking for additional innovative ways to tutor.

We are currently offering drop-in tutoring hours on Microsoft TEAMS on the tutoring channel.  Students may also request individual sessions with tutors on TEAMS.  Announcements for on-line group review sessions will also be shared via class email. 

When in-person tutoring is possible it generally takes place in these formats.

  • Group classroom tutoring
    • Capacity: up to 3 students per tutor session
    • Location: Main Building B217
    • Design: Tutors work with a group of students in an enclosed room with a table and whiteboard
  • Group lab tutoring
    • Capacity: up to 3 students per tutor session
    • Location: Anatomy Lab (sessions begin in adjacent classroom)
    • Design: Tutors work in the anatomy lab with a group of students and work with cadavers
  • Large group review
    • Capacity: up to 50 students per session
    • Location: TBD (typically in Main Building Classroom 1 or 2)
    • Design: Tutors prepare a review session before an exam that is geared towards testing your knowledge with questions and case studies

CRLA Accreditation

The College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) is a well-established international organization that offers a pathway to become an accredited tutoring program. WVSOM strives to meet these qualifications by training, supervising, and evaluating the tutors and tutoring program. When tutors meet the requisite training and tutoring hours (usually after a couple months of tutoring), the WVSOM tutor coordinator will make them an officially accredited tutor (which looks great on a resume!) and they’ll receive a certificate.

Expectations for students

For group tutoring sessions, it is advised that students come prepared with specific questions. If students come with a general “can you teach me all this?” approach, that makes it very difficult for the tutors to conduct helpful sessions for everyone. For this reason, it is better that students do not focus on lectures they haven’t reviewed yet. Please respect that the tutors do not have a professorial level of knowledge.

If you sign up for a session, you are expected to come. If you need to cancel your session, please contact the tutor coordinator well before the scheduled session so he/she can open up your spot to the rest of the class. Failure to show up for a session without canceling your RSVP may be considered a professionalism issue.

Tutor Application Process

The application information for these positions is sent out in April/May. Only students going into their 2nd year can apply. The application process consists of filling out a document and providing references to current WVSOM faculty that can attest to the student’s knowledge of the coursework. Students need to have at least an 80% overall average during their 1st year coursework to apply.

Expectations for tutors

Tutors must possess a strong knowledge of the first year material. They must be able to work approximately 8-10 hours per week, tutoring for 3-4 hours, with the rest of the time prepping for tutoring sessions. Tutors need to complete all the trainings, roughly 10-12 hours total. A majority of the training is completed before orientation. The remaining training is completed in September. Tutors work with the tutor coordinator to set their own schedule every week (the flexibility is a plus) and are expected to show up to the sessions on time.

Contact Info

(800) 356-7836 - ask for ASPIRE