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Communicating Advice

Peer Tutoring and Communication Practice

Edited By Wendy Atkins-Sayre and Eunkyong L. Yook

Although competent peer tutoring depends heavily on knowledge within the particular discipline, there is certainly more to the process than subject knowledge alone. One of the most important components of tutoring in any academic area is effective communication. Research in the area of communication studies is relevant to all areas of tutoring, but is often only a minor component of peer tutoring training. This book brings together tutoring center experts and communication experts to provide research-based advice for training peer and near-peer tutors. With a broad audience in mind, these experts translate research from the fields of communication and pedagogy into advice that can be used for tutoring in any field. Peer tutoring centers or pedagogy courses in any discipline will find this book to be an effective discussion tool for encouraging tutors to consider the importance of how they communicate their advice to students.
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Chapter 8. Connecting with the First Year Student William J. Seiler


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William J. Seiler

One of the most serious challenges facing universities and colleges today is the dropout rate of students after the first year. While enrollments have been relatively stable, with approximately 20.4 million new students enrolling in colleges and universities each year (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2011), the transition for many high school students to higher education is often a very stressful time that can take both a physical and psychological toll (Credé & Niehorster, 2012) on the students. According to Boujut and Bruchon-Schweitzer (2009), many of these students suffer from academic stress, depression, feelings of loneliness, and an inability to establish ongoing relationships with their peers—all of which can lead to higher dropout rates. As a result, it is estimated that approximately 20 to 33 percent of all entering first year students drop out either during or after their first year (U.S. News & World Report, 2014). The reasons for students dropping out vary, but include financial, academic, and health issues, poor social fit, family problems, loneliness, and distance from home.

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