National Mentoring Month: Invest Your Time by Helping Adults Achieve Educational and Career Success
19 January 2016
Did you know that over 80% of job-seekers in Philadelphia’s workforce development system are not ready to study at the high school level? They want to work, but understand that they need to increase their knowledge and skills in order to better support themselves and their families. The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy works to create opportunities that will support Philadelphians’ attainment of knowledge, skills, and credentials that lead to jobs and family-sustaining careers. Whether helping them navigate a career path or helping to guide their personal or professional development, having a strong support system is essential to their success. The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy offers opportunities for volunteers to become adult literacy tutors or mentors.
A mentor is defined as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher; an influential senior sponsor or supporter.
Mentors provide new adult learners with the guidance they need when life interferes with learning, the opportunity to know someone is supporting their efforts, and the encouragement they need to complete each step of the way. Mentors should be patient, have strong listening and communication skills, and should be able to commit to weekly meetings with their learner. Mentors themselves gain valuable experiences and recognitions they can add to their resume as well as the chance to help others and strengthen their communities.
As a part of these efforts to advance workforce literacy at the neighborhood level, The Commission collaborates with adult education agencies to engage volunteer mentors.
- By supporting new learners through personal and educational experiences, mentors will have the opportunity to reflect on the strengths and qualities that enable success
- Mentors can gain a sense of empowerment by helping others reach their goals, in addition to helping foster a ‘culture of learning’ in their community
- Opportunity to receive a $1500 scholarship to Peirce College
- Opportunity to receive 10%-40% tuition discounts at Drexel University Online
- Desire to help an adult learner achieve his/her goals
- Willingness to travel to a location that hosts a mentoring program
- Six-month commitment to mentoring
- Complete required training
- Meet or communicate with learners on a regular basis
- Maintain and submit a monthly attendance log
Requirements for Peirce College Scholarship and Drexel University Online Discounts
In addition to the Mentor Program requirements, those who wish to obtain the Peirce College Scholarship or Drexel University Online discounts must:
- Attend periodic mentor meetings to share experiences and receive training
- Complete the mentor log with information on their mentoring sessions
How to get started:
Call or email Nicole Daker at the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy for more information: 215.686.6047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out our website, www.philaliteracy.org/mentors for more stories and information!
Volunteer tutors offer educational support to adult learners who want to improve their basic literacy, numeracy, and digital skills in face-to-face, online, and/or blended instructional settings, and thus help these learners get a job, keep a job, and advance in their career and personal life.
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have at least a high school diploma or a GED®. However, some college and/or training program experience is a plus
- For referrals to some providers, a Bachelor’s Degree may be required
- Have basic computer and Internet skills, with access to a reliable computer and Internet
- Value technology and its ability to enhance learning and teaching
- Be able to problem-solve when difficulties occur online or in face-to-face tutoring sessions
- Demonstrate good reading, writing, listening, and communication skills
- Be willing to share personal contact information with the learner(s) and supervisor
- Ability to relate well to people from diverse backgrounds (cultural, educational, personal, etc.)
- Appreciate learners’ different values and lifestyles
- Maintain confidentiality
- Be friendly, patient, optimistic, and flexible
Duties Include but are Not Necessarily Limited to:
- Effectively assist and support individual learners and/or small groups with their academic courses (online and/or face-to-face)
- Help learner(s) develop confidence and strengthen their learning skills
- Involve the learner(s) in decisions about their educational/work-related goals
- Come to each tutoring session on time and well prepared
- Select adult instructional materials and resources (paper and electronic), based on the learners’ needs and interests
- Design participatory and engaging lessons that are based on the learners’ needs and work-related goals
- Be available to troubleshoot and help students enrolled in online adult literacy courses in the following ways:
- Help to navigate the learning management system used for online courses
- Answer learners’ questions related to the course content
- Be able and available to meet designated learners and/or conduct synchronous (real-time) tutoring sessions using our learning management system (CANVAS)
- Troubleshoot any technical or connectivity issues that may arise
- Reply to online course facilitators’ and/or learners messages
- Assess and maintain records of each learner’s progress
- Periodically provide The Commission with updates on how the tutoring match is going and notify us with any changes to your schedule and availability
- Must successfully complete all of The Commission’s required tutor training programs (Basic and GED®/ESL training), regardless of past tutoring/teaching experience
- Must complete any additional orientations/trainings required by The Commission and its partner agencies
- Four to six months of tutoring commitment
- Two to three hours per week, usually Monday through Friday in mid-afternoons and early evenings
How to get started:
Call or email the Volunteer Programs Manager at the Office of Adult Education for more information: 215.686.6079 or Volunteers AdultEdu@phila.gov.
You can also check out our website, www.philaliteracy.org/volunteers_tutors for more stories and information!