Download a copy of Purdue's Tutor Rights, Responsibilities, and Ethics (PDF)


Tutoring takes a variety forms and tutors hold many titles. Fundamentally, a tutor at Purdue is someone who provides formal (e.g. help rooms) or informal academic assistance (e.g. study tables) that supplements instruction provided by course instructors.

  • Tutoring is not meant to replace formal instruction.
  • A tutor can be someone designated by an instructor or on -campus service provider.
  • Tutees can seek out their own private services with the understanding that the tutor(s) may not be endorsed or promoted by the University.
  • Tutoring can occur voluntarily and informally in settings such as study groups.
  • Tutoring can take place in-person, online, individually, or in group settings.
  • Receiving pay for tutoring services may impact your financial aid status or visa status. Prior to tutoring for pay, students should check with the appropriate party (Financial Aid, their scholarship program, and/or International Students and Scholars) to confirm their eligibility to provide such a service.

Tutoring Session

A tutoring session at Purdue can happen in both structured and unstructured settings. Tutoring occurs when one party or individual provides course and academic concept related assistance of any type to another party or individual. Tutors may volunteer or receive pay for their services. On campus service providers may require more specific expectations and/or outcomes of tutoring sessions. Private parties should agree on mutually understood expectations prior the tutoring session(s).

Tutor Rights

  • Tutors have the right to refrain from sharing his/her personal information with the student.
  • Tutors have the right to refuse to meet with students who make them feel uncomfortable or are disrespectful or rude.
  • Tutors have the right to request that tutoring sessions occur in a safe and public environment.
  • Tutors have the right to refer to other on-campus support services or staff members when student needs exceed the tutors’ abilities or expertise.
  • Tutors have the right to self-promote their services and are encouraged to uphold Purdue University’s Tutor Rights, Responsibilities, and Ethics.

Students Receiving Tutoring (Tutee) Rights

  • Students have the right to confidentiality. Tutors should not speak with outside parties about students’ performance.
  • Students have the right to report violations of university policy by a tutor.
  • Students have the right to uphold Ethical Standards and the Academic Integrity polices as defined by Purdue’s Code of Student Conduct.
  • The responsibility for academic success rests with the student.
  • Students have the right to seek out formal and informal resources for academic help from any party offering services. Be mindful that on campus resources may use their discretion in making their services available.
  • Students have the right to request that tutoring occurs in a safe and public environment.
  • Students have the right to know the pedagogy and learning strategies of a tutor service provider and the intended result from a tutoring session.
  • Students have the right to seek private, self-promoted tutoring services with the understanding that tutors may not be endorsed by Purdue University or held to its Tutor Rights, Responsibilities, and Ethics.

Academic Help and Tutoring Code of Ethics

Purdue University’s Academic Help and Tutoring Code of Ethics are based on standards set by the Association for the Tutoring Profession. Taking into account the diversity in tutoring and academic help resources, the following ethical standards should be upheld by any party seeking or providing tutoring of any type at Purdue. We highly encourage self-promoted tutoring services or individuals to uphold themselves to the same standards as outlined in this document.

  1. Best Interest: Tutors will be committed to acting in the best interest of a tutee as specified by the sponsoring organization or individual. Tutors will be expected to report instances in which students are in violation of tutor/tutee rights, university policy, and/or engaged in success inhibiting behaviors. Private parties should agree on mutually understood expectations prior the tutoring session.
  2. Responsibility: Tutors and tutees will take responsibility for their own behavior and work to resolve conflicts that may arise between themselves and other invested parties including the instructor or advisor.
  3. Academic Integrity: Tutors and tutees will practice and promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness. Students will uphold Purdue's Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity Statement. Each party will report violations of university policies through appropriate channels. Tutors will never accept illegal payment for a tutoring session.
  4. Fairness: Tutors and tutees will exercise reasonable judgment and take precautions to ensure that their potential biases, the boundaries of their competence, and the limitations of their expertise do not lead to or condone unjust practices. Expectations should be established of mutually appropriate language and the pedagogical strategy in which tutoring will be delivered or supported.
  5. Commitment: Tutors will fulfill commitments and expectations made to students, employers, and instructors. Furthermore, tutors and tutees should fulfill their responsibilities by being on-time and being prepared with appropriate materials to facilitate a session.
  6. Standards: Tutors will refrain from guaranteeing grades or academic outcomes from a tutoring session. Tutors may be asked to uphold a particular philosophy or learning strategies from his or her employer.
  7. Respect for Others: Tutors will respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality and self-determination. Tutors will respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status.
  8. Relationship: Tutors will not engage in inappropriate relations with tutees. Tutors will also be aware of power structures and will avoid compromising environments that encourage the use of unbalanced power dynamics.
  9. Confidentiality: Tutors will maintain the highest privacy standards in terms of protecting personal information relative to those whom they tutor. This information includes, but is not limited to, educational records, personal circumstances and history, and other pertinent information.

Appropriate Communication/Reporting Channels

The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities recognizes Purdue’s Tutor Rights, Responsibilities, and Ethics. However, grievances and disputes should be directed to Student Success at Purdue and/or the sponsoring organization of the tutor (if applicable).

A list of campus academic resources can be found at the following website:

Tutoring Task Force

  • Nichole Hume, Women in Science and Engineering Programs (WISP/WIEP)
  • Ethan Fieldman, Tutor Matching Service
  • Shane Hawkins-Wilding, College of Health and Human Sciences Student Services
  • Matthew Hoelle, Faculty & Advisor of Pursuit Of Excellence in Tutoring (POET)
  • Dorothy J. Hughes, SPAN PLAN Adult Student Services
  • Beatriz Cisneros, Chemistry Resource Room
  • Eva Flick, Purdue Student Government
  • Michael Seals, University Residences
  • Sue Wilder, Dean of Students
  • Stephanie Hawkes, Purdue Promise
  • Sabrina Brown, Purdue Promise
  • Ryan Favors, HORIZONS Student Support Program
  • Tammy Conard-Salvo, Writing Lab
  • Gabe Bryant, Orientation and Virtual STAR
  • Ethel Swartzendruber, Supplemental Instruction
  • Jeffery Stefancic, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Brandon Cutler, Fraternity, Sorority & Cooperative Life
  • Jessica Knerr, Fraternity, Sorority & Cooperative Life
  • Catharine Patrone, Honors College Student Services
  • Karen Wiggins, Biology Resource Center
  • Blake Miller, Tutor Matching Service
  • Tanya Foster, Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Antwione Haywood, Academic Success Center
  • Katie Dufault, Academic Success Center
  • Jordan Williams, Student
  • Dena Davidson, Student Rights and Responsibilities