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Access (Accommodation) Services and Academic Success Services - Students with Disabilities

Roles and Scopes of Access and Academic Success Services for Students with Disabilities

Role and Scope of Course Specific Tutors

Students with and without disabilities use tutoring services. Tutoring can be used by anyone to maximize the conditions for their academic success.

Course specific tutoring focuses on providing students with supplementary opportunities to review subject matter for better understanding, comprehension, and application of course material. It involves reviewing subject matter, focusing on individual learning strengths, and understanding department standards and expectations for exams and assignments.

Working relationships:

With the exception of tutoring available through the Academic Help Centres, tutors working with students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning are not employees of Camosun College. Students typically select and contract privately with service providers from the community or through the Learning Assistance Program at the University of Victoria for an ongoing, one-on-one schedule of tutoring over the term. While the college does not direct or oversee these service providers, it does draw their attention to the following information about best practice standards from across Canadian post secondary.

  • The tutor-student relationship is a professional, working relationship. Tutors should apply ethical tutoring standards and practices which encourage academic honesty. Tutors and students should maintain an arms-length and respectful relationship.
  • Tutors working with students have a very specific role and should not, on their own initiative or at the request of the students, go beyond this role.
  • A tutor is not a replacement for classroom instruction and should not attempt to introduce material not covered by the course instructor. A tutor is not expected to help a student complete homework assignments or provide course content if the student missed a class. It is, however, within the scope of the tutors duties to provide instruction to the student on how to develop strategies to independently undertake these tasks.
  • Tutors do not accompany students to class.
  • A tutor not a counsellor. A student may experience stress, anxiety or distress over academic challenges and difficulties. Camosun Counselling Services can support students with these and any other emotional, psychological or mental health issues.

Academic Integrity:

Tutors and students are often surprised by the range of activities categorized as plagiarism. This may include:

  • Proofreading (correcting grammar, spelling, or punctuation), editing, or checking over assignments and homework.
  • Suggesting topics for a student's paper or assignment.
  • Giving answers or completing problems on assigned work that the student will be handing in.
  • Completing research for the student.

For mathematical and science courses, for example, use sample questions, change the facts or variables in an assigned question, and practice applying rules or problem solving to other contexts/problems.

Academic honesty issues frequently arise when a tutor wants to do too much for a student, or when they are stuck and want to rush the session forward.

As a tutor, you should not interact with the course instructor or academic department on the students behalf. See the section on Learner Autonomy in this guide for more information.


Tutors will maintain the highest privacy standards in terms of protecting personal information relative to those whom they tutor. Tutors must not give out any information about their student to a third party during the tutoring session (discussing disability or personal information loudly in public spaces) or outside of the tutoring session (discussing with friends, course instructors, or classmates). Such information includes, but is not limited to, student's names and information about their disabilities.

Subject Matter:

You should only tutor in subjects that you have relevant education and experience in. For example, a degree in the subject. If you find that the subject matter is above your level of expertise, let the student know right away so that they can contact a new tutor.

Government Grant Funded Students:

Many students with disabilities receive service funding for tutoring in a specific course (I.e. Math 100). For students who received service funding, only provide tutoring in the course they are funded for. You will need to complete a service provider receipt form for the student that outlines the date of each session, hourly rate, total amount paid, and the subject matter you tutored them in. See this video for more information. You may also be required to complete a service provider cost estimate form which confirms the rate you charge and summarizes your education/qualifications that make you suitable for the role. Please return the completed form to the student.

Appointments/Cancellation Policy:

Ideally, set up your appointments in advance and meet in a public space, such as the library or online. Let the student know if you have a cancellation policy so that they are clear from the beginning. Discuss payment and how, when you would like to be paid (I.e. by e-transfer after each session, or every Friday, or at the end of the term, etc.)