Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Mary R. Jalongo, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan E. Fello, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Laurie Nicholson, D.Ed.


The purpose of this study was to examine how tutor/tutee interactions affect the dynamics of the teaching/learning experience in a university -based learning assistance center. A study of exemplary tutoring centers in higher education can provide direction in the process of tutor selection and training to meet the academic needs of today's college students. Consequently, information can be used to provide a guide for designing and refining tutoring programs, to identify academic skill development trends in higher education, and to examine the influences of teaching and learning in a peer tutor relationship. This study provides a qualitative study of six exemplary higher education learning assistance centers. Focus groups were conducted in each of the six universities with peer tutors to ascertain if the four elements of the sociotransformative constructivist theory were included in the sessions. The four elements are: (1) dialogic conversation; (2) authenticity; (3) metacognition; and, (4) reflexivity. The focus groups sessions were supported with document analysis of each learning assistance center. In all of the learning assistance centers that were visited in the higher education institutions, there were commonalities shared by all. Moreover, the programs realized the importance of peer tutoring training and its implications for success. It is important to note that each of the universities involved in this study had its own culture. However, the similarities between them provide insight to what they consider important in the learning process between the tutor and tutee. Future studies might look at the training of the directors/coordinators of these programs to see if they include the elements of the sociotransformative constructivist theory (STC) when they train their tutors. Studies could look at the type of tutors being hired and whether they include an ethnically diverse group and are gender inclusive.