Yearn to learn: As a tutor, your knowledge helps others succeed

By Lydia Hansen

Managing Editor

If you aced your algebra class last semester, tutoring might be an option for you.

RCTC’s Student Support Services offers a variety of programs to aid students who are first-generation college students, low-income, minorities, or disabled, and they’re always looking for qualified tutors to help students who are struggling.

“We hire tutors for students in the TRIO and Disabilities program and Career and Technical programs,” says Olha Ratushko, the tutor coordinator of SSS.

Areas where tutors are needed include math, English, and sciences such as chemistry and biology. There is also some need for tutors in psychology, sociology, and sometimes physics.

“They’re one-on-one tutors here,” Ratushko explained, which means tutors can build their own schedule. “New tutors give us their availability, and we try to work that into our needs.”

There is no minimum number of hours a tutor must commit to per week. They can work as little as one hour a week or as many as 20 hours, depending on their schedule.

“It’s very flexible,” Ratushko said.

Tutoring hours also depend on the students who come to SSS for help. “We work based on the needs of the supply, the needs of the students,” Ratushko explained.

What does it take to become a tutor? It’s actually not that hard. Students interested in becoming tutors can apply through the RCTC website at They must have at least a B in the class they intend to tutor in. A letter of recommendation from the professor of that class is also required.

It is not, however, necessary for students to have work-study grants, or even that they be RCTC students. Post Secondary Enrollment Options students are welcome to apply as tutors, as are Winona State University students as long as they are in the Minnesota State system (formerly MnSCU).

Additionally, students can tutor in more than one class and in more than one subject as long as they are qualified to do so.

Besides being a good addition to a future resume, tutoring is a great way to earn money between classes. But it’s important to have more in mind than money before you tutor.

“We do want students who really want to tutor, not because of the money,” Ratushko said. “You have to be patient … these are the students who are struggling. We need tutors who are patient, ones who care and who can explain it several times in different ways.”

If you’ve excelled in a certain subject area, consider applying. As a tutor, you can turn your knowledge into another student’s success.

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