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In the United States, tutoring in higher education can trace its roots back as far as 1636 when Harvard, America’s first college, initially began educating the nation’s wealthy and elite students (Maxwell, 1997; Sheets 2011). These early forms of tutorials were based in remedial education; the goal was to bridge the gap between the level of education students brought to the institution and the level of education expected by that institution. Arendale (2010) provides a comprehensive review of the history of learning assistance in Access at the Crossroads: Learning Assistance in Higher Education. He provides a thorough and valuable six phase historical timeline, starting in the 1600’s through current forms of learning assistance programming (24). Early methods of learning assistance were created to enhance individual student performances in particular courses with which students struggled to succeed. This tutoring model persisted over time, becoming the archetypal form of learning assistance to improve student learning. However, Arendale’s research clearly shows that learning assistance has progressed by developing, expanding and increasing in both scope and complexity based on solid theory, research, and best practices.
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