Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Susan Marine


Peer tutoring is a form of academic support in which students who have mastered a particular subject assist peers who may be struggling in that course. While relatively little research has focused on the impact of tutoring on peer tutors, existing literature highlights the interpersonal, social, and academic skills peer tutors can gain from their experiences (Gaffney-Varma-Nelson, 2007; Loke & Chow, 2007). It is important to understand the most meaningful factors in the peer tutoring experience and the conditions that best support skills development in order to better structure programs to maximize the potential outcomes for peer tutors. The purpose of this research study was to examine how peer tutors make meaning of their tutoring experiences and if the tutoring experience impacts tutors’ personal, academic, and leadership skills development. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 8 peer tutors from the Math Center, Writing Center, and STEM tutoring program at a small, liberal arts college. Four main findings emerged from the data, including the role of a peer tutor, important factors in meaning-making of the tutor role, rewards and outcomes for peer tutors, and challenges associated with peer tutoring. Based on the literature examined and the data from this research study, recommendations for best practices to improve the experiences of peer tutors are discussed in detail.