Students tutor in secondary schools

Tutoring has the capacity to help the teacher as much as the learner. When secondary school principals across the Albury-Wodonga region put out a call for tutors La Trobe University students answered.

tutorThe Tutors in Schools program began in 2010 to provide support in programs such as homework programs, in-class skills coaching, discipline-based tutoring and mentoring.

‘The La Trobe students who participate in this program are drawn from all discipline areas and are selected on the basis of their demonstrated commitment to the program and capacity to fulfil the challenges involved,’ says Rob Woodward, La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga Campus Operations Manager and Program Coordinator.

Tutors are provided with training and also provided with ongoing support over the course of the program.  

The activities undertaken by the tutors are diverse, depending on the needs of the school. Some students help in homework programs, others buddy up with students who need a little extra help to get them through their studies and a number of students work in classrooms.

Second-year Bachelor of Psychological Science student, Kate Scott, found the program built on her own course and expanded her social network.

‘The program certainly helped with my communication skills and more generally dealing with people’s needs. When I enter the workforce I will feel more confident with those skills.

‘I was also able to interact with a variety of students that study different disciplines at La Trobe, people  I would not have a lot of contact with and also people from the secondary schools, so it was good to make new friends,’ says Ms Scott.

The program has provided a vehicle for strengthening understanding and connection between the University and local schools. All participating schools have expressed delight at the achievements and commitment of La Trobe students and have identified a desire to build on the program in the future.

 ‘The focus for future development has included investigating and developing more effective approaches to building aspiration and skill amongst school students and familiarizing school students with the university experience and environment,’ says Mr Woodward.

To date, the Tutors in School program has included six government secondary schools – Albury High School, James Fallon High School, Murray High School, Wodonga Senior Secondary College, Tallangatta Secondary College & Wangaratta High School, and two Catholic secondary schools – Catholic College Wodonga and Galen College, Wangaratta.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Ecology second-year student Erin Moran, who is also involved in the popular In2Science program, says she will be happy to participate in the program again next year.

‘I met a lot of really great people including fellow students, teachers and secondary school students. At first I considered it as a job and then I really began to enjoy helping just as when I volunteer teaching science and math to students in the In2Science program,’ says Ms Moran.

Feedback about the program has come from all sections of the community, not just the education sector. This is because the schools themselves have promoted the benefits of the program to their broader school communities.

Assistant Principal at Wangaratta High School, Paul Challis says, ‘the student tutors from La Trobe have been great ambassadors for the tutoring program. Staff, parents and students at Wangaratta High School enjoy their presence and appreciate the support they provide.  All involved benefit from the program and we look forward to being involved in the future.’

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Meghan Lodwick

La Trobe University Communications Officer
T:  03 9479 5353 M:  0418 495 941 E: M.Lodwick@latrobe.edu.au

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