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Academic Support: Volunteer Tutors

About our tutors

Volunteer Tutors are screened, trained, and ready to offer support to students who request extra help with their studies. Because the tutors are community volunteers, this is a free service for our students. The tutors bring with them a wide range of skills and a huge amount of experience, knowledge, and desire to be helpful. Tutors can help with specific course content as well as offer more general support for students who want to have someone to check in with on a regular basis.

 To request a tutor

  • Go to the Learning Centre (Room 120) and pick up a purple request form.
  • Fill out the form and talk to the Volunteer Tutor Coordinator, Dan Vaillancourt, who can be found in Student Affairs or in the Learning Centre (Room 120).
  • You must meet with Dan before he can assign you a tutor.
  • Be prepared to make a commitment. This means showing up on time for tutorials, letting the tutor know if you must miss a session, returning phone calls, and being prepared for sessions.

 To become a tutor

Volunteer tutors have been active at the Cowichan Campus of Vancouver Island University since 1985, providing one-on-one help, encouragement, and support to adult learners. Most tutors work with students who are taking courses and need extra help in areas such as writing skills, essays, or math. Some tutors work with literacy learners ~ people who are learning to read and write. Other tutors help individuals prepare for program assessments or tests such as the GED. Tutors also work with students who have English as a second language.

It is not necessary to have teaching experience to be a tutor. While there are no specific academic or professional requirements beyond being able to read and write well, there are many personal characteristics that contribute to the success of the tutoring experience. Enthusiasm, patience, a sense of humour, flexibility, open-mindedness, compassion, and empathy are all attributes that will serve you well as a tutor. Tutors play an important role in providing a supportive, caring environment where learning can be a positive, rewarding experience.

Tutors must have an interview, submit a criminal record check, and take the 18-hour tutor training. This training may be waived in certain circumstances. Training is usually offered the last two weeks of September. The training is interactive and includes the following topics:

  • An overview of Vancouver Island University, the Cowichan Campus, and the Volunteer Tutor program
  •  Our students
  • Tutors and the tutoring process
  •  Learning disabilities
  •  Reading skills and difficulties
  •  Writing skills and difficulties
  •  Learning skills

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Tutor, you can put your name on an interest list by phoning Student Affairs at 250-746-3509. The coordinator will return your call, advise you of the next training session, and arrange an on-site interview. This informal meeting will allow you to meet the coordinator, discuss the program, ask questions, and visit the Learning Centre. You will be able to determine whether this is a volunteer activity that you want to pursue, and the coordinator will be able to determine if you are a suitable candidate.

Volunteer Tutor Resources

Volunteer Tutors 2009

Volunteer Tutor Appreciation Event 2009
Volunteer Tutor Tea Food

 

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