Using Student Peer Tutoring Experiences to Earn Graduation Seals

Information for Districts and Schools

Future Forward Ohio encompasses Ohio’s strategic priorities for using federal funds to help students recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many districts and schools offer a variety of opportunities, including high-quality tutoring programs, to help accelerate learning for students. This includes tutoring programs in partnership with Ohio colleges and universities, educational service centers, community organizations and public libraries.
Some schools have expressed interest in developing peer tutoring programs. The information below highlights some ways students participating in local peer tutoring programs could earn seals to meet graduation requirements.


Alignment to Graduation Requirements

Depending on program design and local requirements, students participating in local peer tutoring programs may be able to earn the local Community Service Seal, local Student Engagement Seal or OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal.

Local Graduation Seals

Each school and district is required to adopt local policy for how students may earn at least one of the locally defined diploma seals. Most districts have adopted criteria for how students may earn all three seals. Please note, districts can develop criteria for these seals that differs significantly, so alignment of a local seal to a tutoring program may vary from location to location.

Depending on the requirements established by each district, high school students participating as tutors in a tutoring experience could potentially earn the following seals:
  • Community Service Seal
    • Students earn the Community Service Seal by completing a community service project based on local standards. A student’s tutoring potentially could be included as community service hours as part of earning this seal depending on the requirements of the district or school.
  • Student Engagement Seal
    • Students earn the Student Engagement Seal by participating in school extracurricular activities to a meaningful extent, as determined by local policy. Because a tutoring program may be considered an extracurricular activity at a school or district, a student potentially could earn the Student Engagement Seal by participating as a tutor in a tutoring program.

OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal

Local peer tutoring programs also could be structured to help participating student tutors earn the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal. This state-defined seal has requirements that are clearly outlined in Ohio Revised Code. The following section provides a summary of those requirements and examples of how tutoring programs could be designed.



To earn the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal, motivated high school students must demonstrate specific professional skills required for success in the workplace. Students must work with at least three experienced and trusted mentors who validate the demonstration of these skills in school, work or the community.
Students earn the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal by satisfying each of the following:
  1. Demonstrating proficiency in each of 14 identified professional skills;
  2. Using the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal form to record demonstration of each professional skill; and
  3. Working with a mentor to validate demonstration of each skill across a minimum of two of the three environments. The three potential environments are: school, work and community.


Alignment to peer Tutoring:

  • 14 professional skills
    • Students have the opportunity to demonstrate these professional skills as part of a tutoring program. Depending on the design of the tutoring program, the involvement and communication of mentors, and the efforts of the student, it is possible for a student to demonstrate every professional skill required for the seal during a tutoring program.
    • Example: High school students provide tutoring sessions for elementary students at the local library every Wednesday evening for 10 weeks to work on reading skills. A tutor who attends every session, arrives on time and brings other students each week demonstrates proficient levels for both punctuality and leadership.
  • Three mentors
    • Many different adults managing, supporting or overseeing different aspects of the tutoring program can serve as mentors to high school students. Mentors observe and help evaluate students as they display professional skills during their experiences.
    • Examples: A teacher of a student who is receiving tutoring services in their classroom could serve as a mentor to a tutor. A program manager who provides tutoring instruction to tutors at a school location could serve as a mentor. A program manager for a tutoring program off-site, such as a library or OhioMeansJobs Center, could serve as a mentor.
  • Two Environments
    • To earn the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal, students must display the 14 professional skills in at least two different environments. A tutoring program most likely could serve as one of those environments but, in certain cases, a tutoring program could satisfy the requirement for a student to display their skills in two different environments.
      • Local Education Agency-centered Tutoring Program – A student tutoring students within the same school or district, with school or district staff overseeing the program, would be displaying professional skills in the “school” environment. Even if the tutor is going to a separate school building within the same district, it still would be considered a “school” environment.
      • Outside Partner Tutoring Program – In certain cases, a school or district might partner with an outside community partner to support tutoring. This could include a local library, OhioMeansJobs Center, Boys & Girls Club, YMCA or private tutoring company. If a tutor is leaving the school environment and working with outside staff at a separate location, the outside staff could be considered “community” mentors. In this case, a student could have a school-based mentor who supports the program from the school or district and a community-based mentor overseeing when they leave the school to go tutor. In this case, a student would only need one more mentor from either environment to complete this requirement.

Elements of High-Quality Tutoring Programs

Districts and schools may want to consider quality elements of high-dosage tutoring when designing tutoring experiences for students. High-dosage tutoring is an effective tool to accelerate learning for all learners.

Research shows high-dosage tutoring can produce “large learning gains for a wide range of students, including those who have fallen behind academically.” Recent studies have shown that high-dosage tutoring increased achievement “by roughly an additional three to 15 months of learning across grade levels.” 

While not required, districts and schools can consider incorporating elements of high-quality tutoring into local tutoring programs. Research shows the most effective tutoring programs will:
  1. Support high-dosage practices: High-dosage tutoring focuses on 1:1 or small group (no more than 4:1) for at least 20-30 minutes at least three times a week.
  2. Align instruction and materials: Using high-quality instructional materials that are aligned with grade-level classroom content helps tutors support in-class instruction.
  3. Use Quality Tutors: Initial training is important, but ongoing professional learning and support (particularly for new tutors) is a critical component of all tutoring programs. Relationships also are key and ensuring a student has a consistent tutor who can build a positive relationship and understand the student’s learning needs is crucial.
  4. Identify Delivery Mode: Most research to date has focused on in-person tutoring, but there is emerging evidence that tutoring can be effective when delivered through distance learning.
  5. Prioritize Scheduling: Research shows that tutoring interventions that occur during the school day tend to result in greater learning gains vs. after-school or summer programs (which tend to aid in maintaining learning or remediation).
  6. Utilize data: Data can be used to prioritize the grade level and student population served and monitor progress through the tutoring experience.
  • Prioritization: Tutoring can be for all students – programs that only support low-performing students can be viewed as punitive (have a negative stigma attached). Rather, programs that identify and support all students at a grade level or school level can give the perception that tutoring is for all and is part of the school day.
  • Progress monitoring: Ongoing informal assessments and communication with classroom teachers allow tutors to personalize instruction to each student’s learning needs.


Research and Supports

Training Sessions and Materials


Last Modified: 11/3/2023 2:08:52 PM