Policies & Procedures

As the Writing Center staff continues to grow and change, we hope that you will make every effort to get to know one another. This section is intended to outline policies and procedures for Writing Center staff. Please read it carefully and feel free to speak to Patricia or Allia about an questions or suggestions you may have. Gretel Vasquez and Elizabeth Nelson are the Front Desk Managers and payroll assistants, and all the other lab assistants at the front desk are familiar with our procedures and can answer most questions.

Care of the Center
Tutorial Locations
Staff Development
New Appointments
Time Sheets
No Shows and Cancellations
Dropping Students
Payment for “No Shows”
Tutor Observations
Use of the Writing Center Facilities
Reference Library
Tutor Disagreements
Walk-in Procedures


1. Care of the Center
While we maintain a comfortable and relaxed work atmosphere, we recognize that growth in the numbers of students using the center often translates into additional responsibilities for everyone. We ask that everyone take responsibility for cleaning up after him or herself and keep the Writing Center clean and free of litter. Due to occasional problems with roaches and mice, we have asked that staff and students do not bring food into the Writing Center. Feel free to bring in drinks, but please be careful about spills. And, make sure that you always clean up any mess you make and that you throw out your own garbage.

2. Tutorial Locations
All tutorials are held in the Writing Center. Any change of location is an exception to policy and must be discussed in advance with Patricia or Allia. Also, as a general rule, we do not give out staff phone numbers. However, if you wish to give out your number to students, feel free to do so. You may come across a student who wants to email their paper to you at home; however, you should avoid this situation. You can refer students to online tutoring.

3. Payroll: Hours and Budget Restrictions

  • Tutors may not work more than 20 hours per week. Tutors who have graduate assistantships may only work 10 additional hours on our budget. Tutors who are teaching in an academic department must subtract their teaching hours from the maximum 20 hour limit to determine the number of hours available for teaching in the center.
  • Tutors may not work in more than two positions (or be on more than two budgets).
  • Tutors may not work for more than six (6) hours without a break.

4. Staff Development
In addition to the regular staff meetings (to be scheduled), we will schedule other weekly (small group or individual) meeting times in an effort to accommodate all tutors. Please speak to Patricia or Allia if you cannot attend. Regular participation at the meetings will be taken into account in an end-of-the-semester evaluation.

5. Mailboxes
All Writing Center notices/messages for tutors will be placed in the green hanging folders in the “new appointments” box. This box is located on top of the filing cabinet to the right of the front desk. Please check your box daily.

6. New Appointments
Each tutor is responsible for finding out about his/her new tutoring appointments. We will not call to inform you of new appointments unless we schedule an appointment with less than one week’s notice. All new appointments (A yellow student registration form stapled to a manila folder) are placed in the “NEW APPOINTMENTS FILE.”. Until your schedule is filled, you must either stop by or call on a regular basis to see if you have any appointments, and then place your new students’ files in your permanent file-a green hanging folder with your name, located in the front desk in the top drawer of the file cabinet. This procedure assures those of us working in the lab that you are aware of, and will be present for, your new appointment. Please record all phone numbers and/or email addresses of your tutees.

7. Time Sheets
Time sheets are due on a bi-weekly basis (every other Thursday by 5 p.m. for non-LIU students and every other Friday by 4 p.m. for LIU students). Due dates are posted on the door and around the center. A new timesheet must be started for each payroll period. Non-LIU students must also sign a bi-weekly payroll sheet in order for timesheets to be processed. Tear off the back copy (orange) of your time sheets for your own records and leave the other two with Gretel, Elizabeth, or staff member at the front desk. Graduate Assistants fill out the time sheets marked GA Timesheets and turn them into the front desk bi-weekly. Graduate Assistants should turn these into the front desk on the last day they are in the Writing Center during the two-week period since they are not due on a specific date. Do not write down walk-in appointments on your timesheet (these go into the walk-in log at the front desk). Also, remember to write down staff development or other types of reading on your time sheet. Finally, do not put down minute fractions of hours; generally speaking, keep you times lists as a full or half hour (starting at the top or bottom of the hour).

8. No Shows and Cancellations
Payroll policy allows tutors to be paid for only two “no shows” per student and will not pay tutors for “cancellations.” A “no show” occurs when a student does not give 24-hours notice for missing an appointment. Please indicate a “1st” or “2nd no show” on the student’s folder, on your time sheet (write in the student’s name) and on the “no show” card. If you do not label a student’s absence as “1st” or “2nd no show” on your time sheet, we will return the timesheet to you for correction; unless you re-submit the corrected timesheet before the payroll deadline, it will not be submitted until the next pay period. Graduate Assistants should also keep track of cancellations and “no shows” on their timesheets. A “cancellation” occurs when a student gives at least 24 hours notice that s/he will not be present for the appointment. If a student has cancelled an appointment, tutors cannot be paid to work that hour.

9. Dropping Students
Students are dropped from registration on their second “no show.” Please return
that student’s folder to one of the lab assistants, and ask him/her to drop that
student from your schedule. Students are allowed a total of three cancellations per semester. If you are concerned about whether or not you should drop a student discuss it with Patricia or Allia since exceptions sometimes occur.

10. Payment for “No Shows”
Since payroll has agreed to pay you for up to two “no shows” per student, you are required to remain at the Writing Center during the entire hour for which you are being paid. If your regular student has not arrived by 15 minutes after the hour of the scheduled appointment, her/his appointment is forfeited, and you are required to let the front desk staff know that you are available for walk-in tutoring or to help out in other ways (computers, errands, etc). Please write your name up for “walk-ins” on the white board. DO NOT have these students sign your time sheet since you have already recorded your regular student as a “no show” for this time slot. Graduate Assistants should also write their names on the white board when they have a cancellation of a “no show” making themselves available for “walk-ins.”

11. Attendance/Promptness
Tutors are expected to show up promptly for all appointments. If you must miss a session, please contact your tutee/s at least 24 hours in advance and arrange to
reschedule your session at a mutually convenient time. If you have to cancel because of sudden illness, it is still your responsibility to contact your tutee/s to let them know you will not attend your scheduled appointment. Please make sure that you have phone numbers for all your students. You must also contact the Writing Center to let us know that you will not be in. When patterns of lateness or missed appointments are established, you will be asked to meet with Patricia or Allia.

12. Schedules
We begin registering students as soon as tutors submit schedules. If you need to
make changes to your schedule once it has been submitted, you must speak to
Patricia or Allia prior to making the change.

13. Tutor Observations
Each semester, Patricia, Allia, or another person they designate will observe a session of your choosing. Following the session, you will discuss the observation and talk about your strategies and problems that arose. Then within a few days of the observation, you will receive a formal description of what the observer noticed during the session along with questions that arose during the write-up You are also encouraged to observe other tutors’ sessions and invite other tutors to observe your sessions; our goal is to encourage collaborative learning around tutoring. In addition, tutors should send out monthly reports to their students’ teachers, which can be found on the Writing Center website. Tutors should also complete a self-evaluation and have their students complete a tutor evaluation at the end of the semester. These can also be found on the web site.

14. Use of the Writing Center Facilities

  • Computers
    While all staff should feel free to use the computers when the Writing Center is open, please remember that registered students always have first priority. Please try to refrain from using the computers for your own work during our busy times, and please be courteous and cooperative if a lab assistant asks you to make that computer available to one of our students. If you need to add a program to the computers, please remove it when you are finished since they can slow down the computers or cause them to shut down.
  • Printing Policy
    Students are staff are permitted only one copy of a document and are asked to limit printing from the internet. Before printing, all students and staff who use the computer must ask an on-duty lab assistant to assist them with printing.
  • Phone
    The Writing Center has one main phone line and it is reserved for WC business. All staff should feel free to make any work-related phone calls from the WC phone. If you need to make a quick (under 2 minutes) personal call, please check with a lab assistant first. Longer personal calls cannot be conducted at the front desk- there are pay phones just outside the WC.

15. Reference Library
All staff and registered students may check out books (no more than three at a time) from our library area. A check-out book form is located on top of the book shelf in the library area. Tutors should complete the required information for their students and make sure that the books have been returned by the end of the semester. Tutors who would like to check out books should ask a lab assistant to complete the required information.

16. Tutor/Student Disagreements
Occasionally, tensions of various sorts arise between tutors and students. If you feel unsure how best to handle such situations or just want to talk things through, please see Patricia or Allia.

17. Walk-in Procedures
Walk-in sessions should be limited to 15-20 minutes. These sessions should be recorded in the black binder located at the front desk labeled “walk-ins.” This is important since “walk-ins” affect the Writing Center’s funding. It is also very important for all tutors to write their name on the white board when they are available for a walk-in session.

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