Becoming A Tutor

What do Tutor/Mentors do?

Most tutors in our program are classroom assistants.  The teacher may want you to work with one learner, with a small group or as a floating helper responding to individual  needs. Usually the teacher designs the lesson, but some tutors have taught part of a class.


Tutors are placed in one of two kinds of classes - ESOL, where  students are working  on understanding, speaking, reading and writing English, or Adult Basic Education where students study reading, writing, math and other subjects in preparation for taking the HiSET exam (formerly known as GED)


Why become a tutor?

People tutor for a variety of reasons. Some want to give back, or to connect with their community. Some want to gain educational experience or contacts. Some want to get out and meet new people.   Whatever their reasons, tutors find adult education a rewarding place to volunteer as they help adult learners achieve their goals.


Where would I tutor?

Tutoring takes place at a variety of sites around Holyoke. Find our sites onthis map


When would I tutor?

Tutoring sessions last 2 - 3 hours in length and are scheduled at a time convenient for you. Classes are held mornings and afternoons Mon - Fri and Mon - Thurs evenings


Who would I tutor?

Our learners are 16 years and older. Some are from Holyoke, Springfield, Chicopee or surrounding towns and others are from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Some have had little formal education while others have advanced degrees.They are united by the desire to improve their lives through education.


Will I have to do Math?!   (or another subject I don't like?)

Tutoring matches are designed to be convenient and comfortable for the tutor. If the idea of doing math (or any other subject) is too challenging, you don't have to do it. But tutors have surprised themselves by having a good time discussing subjects they don't like!


Will you train me?

We provide a 12 hour training series for all new tutors. The training is interactive, participatory and covers Adult Learners, tutoring relationships & boundaries, Learning Styles & Learning Disabilities, Cross Cultural issues and the content areas of reading, writing, math & ESOL.  


Tutors are invited to attend ongoing workshops to develop their skills and have a forum for discussing tutoring scenarios.


See our calendar of training workshops here


How many hours do I have to tutor? How long of a commitment is this?

Tutors volunteer weekly.  Tutoring sessions last for a whole class, generally 2 - 3 hours, but shorter sessions are possible. We ask that you make a six-month commitment.


I don't think I can tutor because I don't speak Spanish (or another language).

You do not need to speak another language to be an effective tutor. Most ABE students are studying in English, and ESOL classes are taught in English.


I am fluent in Spanish - how can I help?

We have a few Spanish language ABE classes. We need tutors with good Spanish writing and/or math  skills. Please contact us!


What is a CORI? Do I Need a CORI?

The CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information), required of all tutors, is a record of your Massachusetts criminal history. This includes any time you were arraigned in court on a criminal charge, regardless of the final outcome. If you have been arraigned it does not prevent you from tutoring depending on the nature of the event.


What is the application process?
We make individual placements of volunteers in a particular classroom, so we take the time to learn a bit about them first. That means  an interview, an application form, references, a CORI check.


More information about our application process


Where can I learn more or ask other questions? How do I apply to become a tutor?

Please contact us! We would be happy to speak with you about becoming a tutor, or any questions you may have.


Contact our office at (413) 552-2932 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submit an inquiry and we’ll get in touch with you.



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