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Frequently Asked Questions

I am interested in becoming:

1. How would this training help me reach those goals?

The Tutor Now trainings offered by the Office of Adult Education have been designed to give you the skills, resources and confidence needed to provide educational support to adult learners in any agency, including your own. After successful completion of the Tutor Now trainings, the Office of Adult Education will refer you to one of its partner agencies where you can offer one-on-one or small group tutoring.

If you have an interest in expanding your role by gaining more experience within your referred agency, please inform your supervisor. However, be mindful that serving as a classroom teacher needs more specialized skills that the Tutor Training program is not designed to offer.

If you are interested in starting an adult literacy program in your neighborhood or agency, this training provides a useful foundation to build on. Volunteering as a tutor for an agency before you start your own will help you:

The Office of Adult Education also offers technical assistance, to help establish or improve adult education services in Philadelphia. For more information, please call our office at (215) 686-6079 to schedule a meeting with our Coordinator of Community Engagement.

2. What are the requirements for the trainings?

Tutor Now: Fundamentals of Adult Learning
3 week course

Tutor Now: English as a Second Language (ESL)
3 week course

Tutor Now: GED® & HiSET® Prep
2 week course

Tutor Now: Technology Skills 
2 week course

3. I took other trainings with the Office of Adult Education. Am I required to complete the Tutor Now trainings?

The changes to our trainings have no negative impact on the volunteers that have taken our trainings in the past.

If you previously completed our Basic Tutor Training, ESL, or ASE trainings, you can continue tutoring or request a new referral.

If you completed one of our trainings and want to register for one of the Tutor Now trainings, you can do so by registering with our online calendar. Those that completed ASE Training previously are in good standing but are encouraged to take the new Tutor Now: GED®/HiSET® Prep training, as this new training will offer more information about HiSET® and CCRS context, to more effectively guide and prepare the learners you are tutoring.

Please note that the Tutor Now: GED® and HiSET® Prep can only be taken after successful completion of the new Tutor Now, Fundamentals of Adult Learning (or the old Basic Tutor Training).

The Tutor Now, ESL training doesn’t have any requirements. Volunteers that took the old ESL Tutor Training are welcome to take the new training, as it offers current information. However, this is not required.

Tutor Now, Tech Skills has no requirements.

You can find more information and register for any of our trainings here.

3. Would I be able to submit assignments and complete the online training after a class has ended?

The online tutor training offered by OAE are instructor-facilitated (someone is there to help you along the way), and follow a cohort-based model (you are not alone in the class; you have an opportunity to interact and learn from your classmates). Therefore, you can only complete the work during the time frame of the class.  If you are not able to complete the work during that time frame, you will need to register again and complete all the assignments; you will not be able to transfer any of your work to a new session. Please check the dates of the training before signing up, or contact us with questions at

4. I have completed the training; how and when will I receive my referral?

Once you have complete one of the Tutor Now trainings, you will receive a certificate of completion via email. About a week after receiving the certificate of completion email, you will receive an additional email detailing the contact information of the agency to which you have been referred. Once you have been successfully matched with a provider and learner, we would greatly appreciate your updating Office of Adult Education staff at If at any point your need a new referral, have any questions or need assistance, you can also contact our office and we will find additional opportunities.

5. Will the Office of Adult Education offer continued professional development?

Once you have completed any training with the Office of Adult Education, we will begin sending you information about trainings which will help you by furthering your professional development experience. These trainings will provide you with the opportunity to explore additional resources and trainings. Most Professional Development opportunities offered by the OAE are open to volunteers, teachers, and administrators. We encourage you to participate in our Tutor Resources and professional development offerings. Please check our calendar (add link to calendar HERE) for dates and descriptions.

Every year the OAE organizes the Tutor Institute (add link to past stories or video, but not to calendar link so we don’t have to refresh every year). This is a one-of-a-kind conference for tutors, with presentations aimed at motivating, supporting and offering new ideas and resources.

The Adult Education Literacy Alliance is another great place to connect with others working in the field. Membership is free!  To learn more and register to be a member, click her (add link to Alliance here)

6. Do I need to commit to a certain number of hours per week or month?

To refer you to a provider, we require that you commit to 6 months (2 to 3 hours per week) of tutoring. This is something that we recommend you discuss with the site/tutor coordinator at the agency we refer you to.

Tech Tutors are required to commit 3 to 4 months (2 to 3 hours a week).

7. Where would I be going to volunteer? When are tutors needed? 

There are adult literacy providers throughout the city of Philadelphia.

Most the providers need tutors any day Monday through Thursday, in the mornings, late afternoons and early evenings. At the moment, most the providers do not have weekend hours. By clicking on any agency on this map (add link) you can find more information about the types of services the agencies offer (ABE, ASE, ESL, Tech Tutoring), as well as the times and days when volunteer tutors are needed.  Some agencies need volunteers at specific times. The information you provide at the end of the training will help us match you with the best program.

8. What instructional materials will I receive to use with the learners?

The volunteer tutor trainings offer a list of resources you can explore and adapt to the needs of the learner you will be working with.  In addition, the Site or Tutor Coordinator may choose to discuss which materials to use with the learners you are matched with. We encourage you to explore and use web-based resources with the learners, as it is a way to model for them effective use of technology. Tutors are also encouraged to be highly flexible and creative in their choice and use of the instructional material.

9. Will I be required to attend additional training once I am matched with an agency?

Some agencies have their own in-house training or orientation, and they may require their volunteers to participate in those before they are matched with a learner. We recommend that you include this as part of the questions you ask during the interview session you will have with the adult literacy provider we match you with.

10. Will the agency I am referred to have requirements for participation other than the ones the Office of Adult Education has?

Each adult literacy agency is different. Some may require higher educational attainment than others do, some may need volunteers with specific skill-set, and some may require more commitment from volunteers than others would. Once we match you with an agency, you will most likely be invited to an interview where these requirements and expectations are discussed. If the initial referral is not a good match for you, please contact our Volunteer Programs at, and a new referral would be made.

11. Will I receive support from the agency I will be volunteering at?

Yes. The Office of Adult Education refers volunteers to adult education agencies with the mutual understanding that a site coordinator and tutor coordinator is on staff to provide guidance and support to our volunteers. Many agencies make sure that an adult education staff is constantly available either in person, by e-mail or by phone to answer
Volunteers’ questions. Your initial session with the learner may also be facilitated by a staff person, and occasional meetings are held to provide you with continual support.


For more information, please contact the Volunteer Programs at or 215-686-5250.



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