The Beginning

Visiting the City College of San Francisco English Lab tutors correlates with higher grades and more robust pass rates. CCSF looked at the success of students who made frequent use of the school’s tutoring program, and then at which equity populations were struggling the most in transfer-level English, and found that they often weren’t the same population. The embedded tutoring program brings tutors to the students who need them the most but who are often the least likely to visit on their own.

The goals of the CCSF English Department Embedded Tutoring Program are to assist students, particularly underrepresented minority students, basic skills students, and students who are struggling, to stay in their courses, increase their independence and confidence, meet the SLOs of the courses in which they are enrolled, pass the courses, and persist through the sequence to the completion of their goals.

CCSF decided to build upon the already-extant tutoring program for basic skills, expanding it to integrate tutors into 6-unit transfer 1A + 1AS English courses as well, and investing in professional development for the team of tutors.


CCSF’s Equity-funded program expanded CCSF’s existing tutoring infrastructure, hiring 12 part-time professional tutors, and investing in their professional development. Tutors become student mentors & supplemental instructors. They participate in:

    • Ongoing Professional Development
        • Content specific workshops
        • Cultural Awareness & Communication Series
        • Time Management, Tutor Narrative & Value Proposition for Resumes & LinkedIn, and various college success workshops
    • Collaboration, Communication & Feedback Loop with instructors
        • Paid Student Orientation Training at the beginning of the semester
        • Classroom Presentations
        • Open LAD department meetings
        • Visits, guest speakers, tours and activities with other

    • 2017 Routed Basic Skills money into program
    • 2018 Piloted embedded tutoring program
    • 2019 Expanded program & collected data about success

Student Experience

“It’s about building ongoing relationships and a level of accountability on the part of our students”

When asked about how much tutors helped students learn, they had the following to say:

The program improved my writing
The program improved my reading comprehension
The program improved my study skills
The program helped me find other resources on campus

Early Outcomes

CCSF is still collecting data but initial outcomes have been strong, with a dramatic increase in successful outcomes for traditionally marginalized students. The program contributes to closing the achievement gap.

As a result of tutoring, students report feeling greater confidence and less anxiety, so that 82% of tutored students believed they would succeed in their classes; 70% applied tutor-taught test-taking strategies to other academic coursework outside of English; and 74% learned how to use multiple resources outside of English.

Thus the benefits of the embedded tutoring program not only helps them succeed and excel in English, but provides benefits that help them in their other courses as well.