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Selecting Products & Services From External Tutoring Providers

Tutoring products and services take many shapes and sizes. This article shares a framework that district leaders can use to consider different solutions, whether they be standalone programs or component solutions, and the common attributes of these products and services.

The Center for Education Market Dynamics • June 12, 2023

When it comes to making tutoring decisions, there are more factors in the decision-making process than simply picking a tutoring program. In fact, there are dozens of different tutoring program types, with nuanced differences between them. These differences in program types are significant when it comes to implementation. That means, decisions should be made about products and services based on the unique needs of the students in a given district.

Standalone Programs and Component Solutions

The products and services offered by external providers can be broken down into standalone programs and component solutions. The framework below outlines the two subcategories of tutoring solutions, including models, specific types, descriptions, and examples of each.

Resource Image Selecting Product Services Standalone Programs vs Component Solutions

Standalone Programs

Standalone programs can stand on their own as external tutoring programs, meaning there is nothing the school or district implementing the program needs to provide in order to operate the tutoring program beyond program/partner management. Some standalone program types naturally align better with certain quality standards than others. The chart below highlights a few measures of quality (as identified by the National Student Support Accelerator) where we see different levels of alignment based on program type.

Resource mage Selecting Products Services

While this chart depicts patterns commonly seen with certain tutoring models when assessing their alignment with particular quality standards, there may be exceptions within each model type. It is important to evaluate all tutoring products and services independently. See NSSA’s Provider Selection Tool for helpful rubrics that can be used to evaluate potential tutoring partners.

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