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About the Nontraditional Student: On college and university campuses today, more and more students are classified as "nontraditional" or "continuing studies." Many of these students are older than the typical 18-22 year-old undergraduate; nontraditional students enroll with a wealth of life and career experiences, though some of them have not done college-level writing for several years. We may offer signups online instead on a bulletin board today, but little else has changed since we filmed this scenario.
Tutorials with these writers offer some of the greatest challenges and rewards for peer tutors. When approached in the right way, tutors will find that nontraditional students are very eager to learn and will return again as a "regular" to work with a favorite tutor.
This scenario simulates a common experience for our tutors; a younger peer tutor feels a bit insecure about tutoring a writer older than herself, and the writer, in response to poor choices by the tutor, does not engage fully in the tutorial. As Hannah talks to Susan, note how a more professional approach, rather than a bland reassurance about the problem at hand, leads to a stronger tutorial. Some of the choices of words by Hannah have unfortunate consequences! On the other hand, note how well Hannah fields a question outside her area of expertise; this approach will not always work, but it may when professors have specialized systems for documenting sources.
Actors: Hannah Bate & Susan Herbert Story Board & Paper: Hannah Bate, Julia Rommel, Jennifer Rutkoski