FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

What are the requirement?

You must have a 3.45 GPA, preferably with credits earned at Rutgers and you must have at least a 3.5 (B+) in the course(s) that you wish to tutor.  Preference is given to students who can tutor multiple courses.  We don't just want you have earned a good grade in a course.  You should demonstrate a sustained ability to excel as a student in a broad range of courses, as we want you to be able to speak authoritatively to this with our students.

Can I choose my own hours?

Yes you can. You may list your available hours and the minimum and maximum number of hours that you are requesting. This will be used to assign your hours.

Do you hire international students.

Yes, but you must request to have a social security card with work authorization. This should be done after the offer of employment is made. You should work closely with the international student organization to make sure all procedures are followed.

What if I didn't take my intended course(s) at Rutgers?

We prefer you to have taken courses you wish to tutor at Rutgers simply because we want you to be familiar with our faculty expectations.  However, we do recognize that some students may have taken college prep, are transferring from another institution or for other exceptional reasons have placed out of taking a particular course at Rutgers.  In these cases you may request an exception be granted.  We will make these decisions on an individual basis.

What if I want to tutor English composition or English related material?

Please contact the Writing Center about your interest.

Do I need to be a work study student?

We would prefer to hire work study students. Most of our tutors do not have a work study allocation.

Will you change my hours during the semester?

We try not to. We'd rather you not change your hours either. If you have hours for which there are frequently no sign ups then we'd need to adjust them but with your knowledge and input.

How much do I get paid?

The starting salary is $11.00 per hour. You will be paid every two weeks.  There are nominal increases over time based on status and effort.

Is there a training?

There is an initial 4.5 hour training and self-directed online training afterwards that can be competed in about 1.5 hour, which you are given a week to complete.  Two additional mandatory staff events are held during the semester.  Typically each is held twice and you are given the opportunity to select which day is more convenient for you.

What is a typical day like?

Typically tutoring is done in groups of three students for 1.5 hour sessions. You may see less students but you will not see more than three at once.  In cases of extraordinary demand we may bump the cap to four but you may opt out if you believe that will impact your sessions too negatively.  You arrive for your scheduled hours and wait for your students.  Appointments are pre-scheduled so you are aware of how many students will be meeting with you and what subjects they will be coming to discuss.  You will not be aware of the topic student want to discuss unless they annotate their appointment so you will need to be fully versed in the subject.

Do I get paid if no one shows up?

Yes.  You may also leave if you wish, subject to your informing a supervisor.

Do I have to come if no one signs up?

Yes.  You may call in to cancel that session if you wish, subject to your informing a supervisor.

How smart do I need to be to be a tutor?

You should be able to explain concepts, link related topics, provide rationale and context, and explain intervening steps quickly and authoritatively, without substantial delay or hesitation. You need not know the subject with as much breadth and depth as a professor but you will need to provide students with an understanding that is broad, deep, substantial, helpful, accurate and consistent with that of an accomplished senior student. You should not be in need of a refresher and you should not require continuous use of a teacher's edition, which in some cases is available or can be requested.

Will my knowledge be tested?

You will be tested if students express dissatisfaction with your performance. You are being tested every day by students and in most cases, they are the final arbiter of whether or not you are helpful. It is unusual for their opinion to be overturned but we strive to be fair and objective in our appraisal.

Who comes for tutoring?

There are lots of different profiles. Struggling students who would like additional support, students who are stuck on a particular issue and need clarification but in general and otherwise are proficient, students who seek additional help because it's available.  In most cases, student who come do so voluntarily so all are success oriented but at different places in their understanding. We tutor mostly first and second year courses and as a result see mostly first years and sophomores.

What advice would you give a new tutor?

We require that students partner with the learning center. They should go to class, read their textbooks, take and review notes and attempt their assignments before seeking tutoring assistance. We do not wish to foster dependency and so while remaining empathetic we do expect that our tutors will hold students to this standard. We have found that some tutors find this aspect of the job to be the most difficult as it requires them to decline doing most of the hard work of understanding for students who did not do enough of the preliminaries. My advice is that you only submit an application if you can fully commit to this requirement. Also, you need to have good communication skills in English and be comfortable with small group interactions. Finally, you must take your responsibilities seriously. Students depend on you and expect your best effort. So do we.

What are the benefits to me of being a tutor?

First off, the logistics are great. You get to earn a decent salary while working between your classes and on campus with an organization that respects your student status. You are constantly revisiting your first and second year course material which not only helps you remember it but also deepens your understanding. If you're planning on taking entrance exams to professional schools later on this may prove invaluable. It's an important campus leader, knowledge worker job that requires many of the skills that employers seek and which you can demonstrate by maintain good standing here.  Many of our tutors tell us that potential employers were most interested in their experiences here and that discussing this position gave them an opportunity to showcase their talents.  Finally, you meet a ton of people who look up to you and seek you out for your expertise which feels great plus it's quite rewarding in any case.  There is an old saying that if you are the smartest one in the room then you are in the wrong room.  You will be working among an exceptional group of hard working emerging scholars so you may one day group this among your "right room" experiences at Rutgers.