Becoming a Tutor FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Appointment tutors work with students in 50-min scheduled appointments on content for a specific class. These sessions are usually one-on-one, but sometimes multiple students from the same class will come together. Students may make single appointments or come back at the same time each week. The set appointment time allows for tutors to work with students in-depth on a particular topic, often working through multiple problems or examples in a single session.  

Appointment tutors are certified to tutor for specific classes and students are only able to make appointments with tutors certified to tutor the class they need.  

Appointment tutoring is offered in the following locations: Tutoring and Reading Center, Seidman Tutoring Lab (Pew Campus)

Drop-in tutoring can look very different from appointment tutoring, depending on how many students are in the drop-in center at any given time. Usually, drop-in tutors work with small groups of students who are studying similar things, but may not be in the same class. Drop-in tutors also tend to rotate among students or groups throughout a shift. Drop-in tutoring also attracts more students who have quick questions about homework and do not feel they need a full 50-min appointment or those who have “last minute” questions before a class or exam. In many of the drop-in centers, multiple tutors are assigned to each shift, which allows for easy collaboration with other tutors.  

Because drop-in tutors need to be ready for almost any question that comes in, these tutors need to have more advanced knowledge of the subject and be ready to tutor content from multiple classes in a single discipline (i.e. Chemistry or Math).  

Drop-in tutoring is offered in the following locations: Chemistry Success Center, Math Tutoring Center, Stats Tutoring Center, Reading Center, Seidman Tutoring Lab (Pew Campus) 

All tutors must have a B+ or better in any class they wish to tutor. You will also need a positive faculty recommendation for each class you plan to tutor.  

Tutors also need to have good communication and interpersonal skills and be able to work well with people of different backgrounds and experiences. Students come to tutoring for support and encouragement, even when they are struggling to understand concepts. Good tutors should also demonstrate patience and empathy when working with others.  

Most importantly, we are looking for tutors who believe that all students can learn anything under the right conditions and are willing to help students find and create the conditions that allow them to learn best, even when the material is challenging for them.  

In addition to the general requirements above, specific centers have additional requirements or preferences:

Chemistry Success Center: Preference is given to applicants who can tutor CHM 115, CHM 116, and at least one 200-level chemistry course.

Math Tutoring Center: You need to have at least taken MTH 201 (Calculus I), but preference will be given to undergraduate students that are able to tutor courses beyond MTH 201 and who have taken at least 1 math class at GVSU.

Stats Tutoring Center: You need to have at least taken STA 215, but preference will be given to undergraduate students that have taken STA 216 and have taken at least 1 stats class at GVSU

This varies by center, but generally, tutors should be available to work at least 5 hours per week during the semester (starting week 2 of classes). Most tutors work somewhere between 5-10 hours per week, though some work more.  Tutors receive a schedule at the beginning of the semester and work the same hours each week throughout the semester.  Tutors are not required to work during finals week but may do so if they choose. Priority will be given to applicants who are able to work both the fall and winter semesters. 

This will differ slightly depending on which center you work for.  

For appointment tutors, you will generally know in advance how many appointments you have scheduled and for which classes. “Typical” shifts are less common for drop-in tutors, as their work depends largely on how many students are in the center at any given time and how many tutors are scheduled for that shift.  

For both drop-in and appointments tutors, when you do not have students to tutor, there may be small projects or tasks for the center to complete (such as finding resources for students in the areas that you tutor or helping tidy up the tutoring space). If there are no tutoring related projects to complete, tutors may use their down time to work on their own homework or personal tasks.

All new tutors in every center receive 4+ hours of training in topics such as what a good tutor does/doesn’t do, how to structure tutoring sessions, basic tutoring skills (such as active listening, Socratic questioning, and goal setting with students), as well as what to do in difficult situations.  

New tutor training is generally held sometime the weekend before classes start each semester or during the first week of classes, with multiple session options available.  

Additional training is provided by each center but varies from center to center. Returning tutors also receive on-going training each semester to further their tutoring skills.  

You can use this application to apply for tutor positions in the centers listed below. To learn more about each center, please check-out their websites (linked below).  

For all other tutoring centers (Anatomy Tutoring Lab, CIS Student Success Center, Engineering Success Center, Laker Academic Success Center, Physics Help Corner), please contact the center coordinator listed on their website for more information about the hiring process. For more information about becoming an SLA/PASS Facilitator, please contact the Tutoring and Reading Center.  

Once you submit your tutor application, you’ll receive an email with next steps in the application process, including how to request faculty recommendations for tutoring. The faculty recommendation form will be sent directly to your professor(s) and should take less than 10 minutes for them to complete.  

That’s not a problem! The email you receive after submitting your application will also have instructions about what to do in this situation. Tutoring staff will work with you to verify your content knowledge in a different way. This may include speaking with one of the tutoring coordinators or a GVSU faculty about the course content, submitting copies of transcripts from the institution where you took the course, or another method depending on your specific situation.  

Page last modified August 22, 2023