Becoming a Tutor

Who Can be a Tutor

Our tutors come from a variety of majors, including the sciences, business, and the social sciences. Tutoring is an excellent way to work with fellow students and gain additional writing, communication, and professional experience.

Tutors begin by taking one of our training courses to study effective tutoring strategies. The training courses are open to all students who have successfully completed their first year as well as their writing requirement and are interested in learning more about writing while helping others.

We aim for a diverse body of tutors, recognizing that student diversity promotes success. We actively engage tutoring methods that seek to reach out to all the student populations that UIC serves.

You can register for one of the training courses (English 222 or, for seniors and graduate students, English 482) when you register for your other courses.

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Training Courses

All tutors take English 222 or, for seniors and graduate students, English 482. The courses are full credit and have the standard amount of academic work for courses at these levels. Students discuss readings, write reflections and analyses, and conduct research engaging perspectives on tutoring.

The courses meet weekly. Students also schedule two additional hours to tutor during weeks four through fifteen of the semester. Writing Center Faculty are present at Writing Center to consult with tutors while they learn to tutor.

Students receive a grade at the end of the semester that assesses their academic work for the course as well as their professional commitment to tutoring. Professionally, tutors are expected to be on time, respectful of students and faculty, supportive and attentive to all the writers who use the Writing Center, and receptive to coaching from their instructors and the Writing Center’s faculty staff.

The Writing Center offers four sections of English 222 to choose from at the following times:
Mondays, 3:00-4:15;
Tuesdays, 3:30-4:45;
Wednesdays, 2:00-3:15;
Thursdays, 2:00-3:15.
Engl 482 is offered Thursdays, 12:00-1:50.

In the Summer 8-week semester:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00-1:50.

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Paid Tutors

After completing the training course, tutors are eligible to apply for a staff position. We have both volunteer and paid staff positions. To apply for paid staff tutoring, 222 or 482 students submit an essay on the relationship between their learning in the training courses and specific examples of their tutoring practice.

The Writing Center can usually hire eight to twelve new tutors per semester. Staff tutors work several hours per week at the rate of $9.73 per hour. Paid staff tutors continue their professional development by meeting with other tutors and Assistant Directors, and learning how to assess their progress productively.

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Handbook

Both new and staff tutors are guided by the Writing Center’s handbook, To be a Peer: an Introduction to Writing Center Theory and Practice. The handbook draws on current research and scholarship on peer tutoring and writing center pedagogy, adapting general tutoring strategies to UIC’s mission to provide “broadest access to the highest levels of intellectual excellence” and “to foster scholarship and practices that reflect and respond to the increasing diversity of the U.S. in a rapidly globalizing world.” Tutors aim to make learning about writing accessible to all students and to recognize that student diversity promotes success. We actively engage approaches to tutoring that seek to be anti-oppressive, regardless of a fellow student's educational experience, identity, or cultural or language background.

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