The Benefits of Becoming a Tutor
"Working as a writing tutor will be one your most important and rewarding experiences at UVM. As you learn to help others succeed as writers, your own writing will improve and you'll develop a cadre of highly transferable skills -- good listening, multitasking, adapting flexibly and creatively to new situations... to name just a few. You will also receive training on topics ranging from connections between various aspects of identity and literacy practices to the different kinds of writing with which your peers across the university are engaged. These aren't just things to put at the top of your resume -- they're awesome skills to have for all parts of your life. Most importantly, you'll meet people from all kinds of majors and backgrounds (even different countries), giving you a glimpse of things happening around campus and broadening your view of the world. On any given day, there's no telling what kinds of new stuff you will learn. Tutoring in the Writing Center is a classic win-win: you get to help others and expand your own skills and knowledge at the same time."
In order to be considered for a writing tutor position, students must:
- have at least a 3.2 grade point average
- be recommended by a professor
- be interested in learning about diverse ways of thinking, learning, and communicating
- be a good writer
What to Expect as a Tutor
Class & Time Commitments
As part of the tutoring experience, tutors take two courses:
- English 2790 (fall semester) has a practical focus on building each tutor's identity and skills as a writing tutor.
- English 2795 (spring semester) takes a more critical and theoretical look at tutoring writing.
The time involved each semester (for the class and tutoring) is about the same as for a normal three-credit course in the humanities. Class-tutors meet during the Monday and Wednesday class periods, with about 2-3 hours of homework for each class. Instead of a Friday class period and homework, class-tutors tutor for 3 hours each week (not necessarily on Fridays -- we find 3 hours that fit into each tutor's weekly schedule).
New class-tutors begin tutoring during the fourth week of the fall semester, and then continue tutoring for 3 hours each week for the remainder of the two courses (excluding holidays and breaks).
Tutors receive course credit for tutoring during the two courses. Tutors who successfully complete ENGS (English) 2790 and ENGS (English) 2795 are eligible to work in the Writing Center as paid student employees. Paid tutors usually continue tutoring for about 3 hours each week. They can also participate in additional roles, such as serving as a writing tutor attached to a class, giving presentations about the Writing Center, and tutoring writing at satellite locations like the Advising Center, the HUB, or the Honors College.
How Students Apply
There are three steps to applying for a writing tutor position:
Recommendation: Students need to be recommended by a professor who is familiar with their writing. The recommendation does not need to be a traditional recommendation letter; a short email is sufficient.
Interview: During the interview in early March, the Writing Center Director will ask a series of questions to learn more about the student, explain what's involved in being a tutor, and answer any questions they have. They do not need to bring anything to the interview.
Application and Writing Sample: At the end of the interview, the student will receive a tutor application form. If they're interested in applying, they can submit the application form plus a sample of their writing. Tutors are selected and notified prior to registration during the spring semester so that they will be able to register for English 2790 when signing up for fall classes.
Need More Information?
Contact our director, Sheila Boland Chira, if you have further questions.
Where are They Now? Alumni Tutor Profiles
During the 2019/2020 academic year, Tutor Genevieve Winn asked eight Undergraduate Writing Center alumni who graduated between 1988 and 2018 to share what they are doing now, how tutoring impacted their lives, and advice for current tutors.