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Generation Z & Peer Tutoring: 3 Tips for Learning Center Management

In higher education, there has been a growing awareness of how generational differences impact teaching and learning. First the millennials, and now the Gen Zers, have changed the climate in higher education, as institutions have attempted to adapt to these students’ needs. This reality has come to full fruition over the last fifteen years, as Millennials and Generation Zers have come of age. Let’s face it: different generations have different expectations surrounding how we teach and how we learn. Perhaps where these expectations have manifested more than in any other area of our institutions is in the learning center.

Now that traditionally-aged college students are solidly Generation Zers, what are some considerations for those of us who work in tutoring and learning centers?

  1. Outreach is key: While Generation Z students do crave face to face interactions, they often have a difficult time initiating these relationships. Our outreach to students must build trust and meet them where they are at, which is often on social media.
  2. Tutoring is pragmatic: Gen Zers are often practically-minded and seek hands-on opportunities to learn. We must ensure that our tutoring practices are meeting these students’ needs and that they can see the value of applying study and learning strategies that we teach them.
  3. Tutors are GenZ: At many institutions, the tutors are GenZ students themselves. We must focus on creating welcoming, diverse communities for them to engage in, and tailor our tutoring training to the ways they learn best. Tutoring may be many students’ first paraprofessional experience, and as supervisors, we have the opportunity to mentor them and set a positive tone.

How are you engaging your Gen Z students?  How are you training your Gen Z tutors? What practical tips can you share about working with Gen Z students?

Additional Resources:

We want to hear from you.  Let us know what you think.


steph carter head



Author: Stephanie Carter
April 8, 2019

Comments 3
  • Ida Tomshinsky
    Ida Tomshinsky

    Our student-mentors are successfully translating learning in action, by assisting others in study-groups. By study-in-groups, no one is left behind! Gen Z ready for personalized learning and sharing the information with peers. The modern Florida National University Library provides individual rooms to study and learn, and meeting and conference rooms for study-in-groups for teaching and learning. We are very proud of our student-mentors and their tutoring job provided for their classmates in after class time.

  • Aaron W. Hughey
    Aaron W. Hughey

    Excellent information/advice. As Generation Z students enter college, it is important that academic advisors understand the unique characteristics that define this exceptional cohort. Identifying the needs of these college students as early as possible and providing them with the personalized advising services they need contributes directly to the continued viability of today’s colleges and universities. Generation Z students make a significant contribution add to the overall quality of the educational experience on campus; understanding their dynamic and distinctly optimistic perspective enriches the collegiate environment for everyone.

  • Denise Swett
    Denise Swett

    Some other critical factors to keep in mind with these Gen Zers, they have about an 8-second attention span and are used to things moving quickly! You need to engage them fast. With their extensive use of YouTube, they like visuals- like Khan Academy to help to solve things like algebra problems, and they expect things to be available 24/7, on-demand. Leverage whiteboards and other visual props and do group tutoring (such a Math Labs) as they like social learning environments. Check out other online resources like Brainly,, EdReady, and online tutoring products to offer online resources along with in-person tutoring. Suggest faculty include all types of tutoring and support services in their syllabus. Check out KAHOOT! for some fun quizzes to learn more about more Gen Z attributes.

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