Success Center

New for Fall

Tutorial video

The Success Center has moved to a new location inside the Library, and has merged with the Writing Center! Now, students can get help for all supported subjects on campus and writing in the same place! We've also integrated the ESL Skills Lab into the new space to better serve all students on campus.

General Information

Free tutoring is available to help students develop study skills, manage their time, stay organized, learn and review course material, develop written and critical thinking skills, practice problem-solving, and learn ways to study "smarter" (not harder) in a differentiated way that's best suited to their preferred learning style(s). Our entrance is located inside the Library just past the Printing/Books for Food area. We can be reached at 408-741-2038 if you have any questions (not answered by our website).

To be eligible for tutoring, you must be currently enrolled at West Valley College in the subject in which you wish to be tutored, and your class must have started to meet.

Canvas help now available. Ask any peer tutor if you need help navigating through your course(s).

The Success Center is closed for Winter Break and will reopen in Spring 2019.


Enroll in Tutoring

  • Come in to the Success Center and complete a registration form.
  • Go to the Portal and enroll in the zero-unit, zero-cost lab LRSV 110 (instructions available on registration form; add code provided at the front desk during the registration process).
  • Check the "Schedules" tab for available drop–in times; check back regularly, as the schedule expands through mid-semester.
  • If needed, inquire about scheduling individual or group appointments, available on a limited basis.

Important Information About Tutoring: Please Read!

When you come in to sign up for tutoring services we will automatically enroll you in the zero unit tutoring course, Learning Services 110 (LRSV 110), "Supervised Tutoring". There is no charge and the course does not appear on a student's transcript.

You must be enrolled in the class for which you receive tutoring. We verify the following: whether or not the class is current, the student is enrolled, and the course is taken at West Valley, not Mission. If any of the above criteria are not verifiable, tutoring may be suspended or denied. 

We will assist you in improving your skills, gaining confidence in your abilities, and getting your questions answered. Our goal for you is to become empowered in your own abilities and to strengthen them as you work with others.

You must attend all of your classes. A tutor will not read the textbook for you, nor do your homework for you. Remember that your instructor is the final authority, and that the tutors are not instructors.

Register early and get help frequently. Studies show that students who get regular assistance throughout the semester–rather than at the last minute–can significantly improve their grades.

Individual weekly appointments are available on a limited basis and for students who qualify for additional accommodations (through DESP, EOP&S, and TRIO). If you have an appointment, you must be on time! If you arrive more than 15 minutes late or fail to cancel an appointment at least 24 hours in advance, it can count as a "NO-SHOW" (un-excused absence); after two no–shows, your weekly appointment may be cancelled. Please call 408.741.2038 at least 24 hours ahead if you cannot make it to your appointment, or if you are running late.

Study Groups are an excellent way to improve comprehension of the class materials, test one's knowledge, and effectively collaborate with classmates, but are sometimes hard to create and/or run: let us help! Tutors know how to get groups focused on the material, use each other as resources, create review materials, and effectively study and learn course material in an engaging, meaningful, and fun way! If at least three students from a class need assistance, we can work with you to schedule a weekly appointment. Once your group is formed and you have mutually available times in mind, please contact Jen Wagner at 408-741-2615 or jennifer.wagner@westvalley.edu or Vida Sabouri at 408-741-2602 or vida.sabouri@westvalley.edu to inquire about scheduling an appointment. 

Please come prepared for your tutoring session. Adequate preparation includes regular class attendance and bringing your textbook (along with handouts and questions) to the tutoring session.

We strive to meet as many students' needs as possible. Oftentimes, this means that the center will be busy. We ask that you tolerate the needs of the students around you, including some "white noise" of students and tutors working together. If you have a complaint, please speak to Jen Wagner or Vida Sabouri.

Other Tutoring Centers on Campus

Supported Classes: Fall 2018

The following classes will be supported by peer tutors this fall, and may grow as new tutors are hired. A weekly schedule is posted under the "Schedules" tab, and will "grow"/evolve for the first ~10 weeks of the semester. Following are the classes for which support will be available:

  • Accounting—10, 11
  • Administration of Justice—1A
  • The Adobe Suite—General Support/Help
  • Animate—General Support/Help
  • American Sign Language—60A
  • Anthropology—1
  • Arts—1A, 1B, 4, 10, 55
  • Biology—10, 11, 22, 41, 42, 43, 45, 47, 48
  • Business—43, 46, 46B
  • Canvas—General Support/Help
  • Chemistry—1A,1B, 2, 12A, 12B, 30A, 50
  • Child Studies—2
  • Communication Studies—1
  • Computer Information Systems—2, 4A, 4A1, 4B1
  • Computing—General Support/Help
  • Counseling—50
  • Digital Media—1, 3, 14C, 20A, 21A, 21B, 22B, 99
  • Economics—1A/2A, 1B/2B
  • English—1A, 1B, 1C, 903, 905/X
  • Excel—General Support/Help
  • Fashion Design—44, 52A,70
  • French—1A
  • German—1A
  • Health Care Technologies—4, 5
  • History—17A, 17B, 20
  • Japanese—1A, 1B
  • Kinesiology—51/H
  • Math—D, 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 4A, 10, 12, 19, 105, 106/R, 902P, 903/R
  • Music—10, General Support/Help
  • Non-Credit Math—101, 102, 103
  • Photoshop—General Support/Help
  • Philosophy—1
  • Photoshop—General Support/Help
  • Philosophy—1, 2, 17, 21, 22
  • Physics—4A, 4B, General Support/Help
  • Political Science—1
  • Psychology—1, 2/H, 7, 12, 17, 25, 30
  • Reading—General Support/Help
  • Sociology—1, 2, 45
  • Spanish—1A, 1B & General Support/Help
  • Student Success—100
  • Theater Arts—10, 14C, 40A, 40B
  • Women, Gender, & Queer Studies—1, 2, 3
  • Writing—General Support/Help in Any Subject

Become a Tutor

Do you like helping others in a meaningful way? Can you communicate effectively? If your GPA is 3.0 or above and you have a B or better in the subject you wish to tutor, we invite you to apply.

What will you get out of it?

  • Help others.
  • Earn money.
  • Enhance your knowledge of the subject. (The jury is still out on whether or not tutees learn more than tutors during a tutoring session.)
  • Develop and improve your communication skills.
  • Learn how to become a more organized student.
  • Increase your confidence by facing and working through challenges.
  • Gain experience in a leadership role.
  • Develop your resume and on–the–job skills, applicable in most modern work environments.
  • Work on campus, close to classes.

How do I become a tutor?

  • Register for Interdisciplinary Studies (ISTU 40), the 1/2-unit, hybrid-format Tutor Training course and ISTU 40E for those interested in tutoring writing/English--successful completion of ISTU 40 is a prerequisite for a general tutoring job, and ISTU 40E must also be completed for a writing tutoring job: students may only apply after this requirement has been met.
  • After successfully completing ISTU 40 (and 40E),complete a Peer Tutor Application. Request all Faculty Recommendations, too, but feel free to submit your application before they're done.
  • Submit a completed application to Jen Wagner, the Success Center Coordinator.
  • After applying, you may be asked to interview; if not, you may follow–up with Jen Wagner, and ask why an interview was not granted.
  • If hired, you will need to complete an employment packet with the West Valley College Personnel office.
  • NOTE: the hiring process can take a while from start to finish, so please apply early, especially if you're hoping to work during the current semester.
  • Any other questions? Come in to the Success Center and ask: we really need good tutors and will help you through the process. Or, give Jen a call at 408–741–2615 or email Jen Wagner.

Off–Site Tutoring

Free online tutoring via NetTutor

In order to access this free, outsourced, online service, please click on the link marked "NetTutor 24/7" on the left column menu of your Canvas course shell. If your instructor has not activated his/her course in Canvas, please request it so this feature (only) will be enabled for your class.

Off–Site Tutoring

If you're not a current West Valley College student, or if you need private, face-to-face tutoring outside of the Tutorial Center, we recommended the following sources, not affiliated with WVC:

  • Tutree.com: an online resource (and app) that allows you to connect with tutors near you who have been vetted by Tutree; payment can also be made securely through their site and/or app.
  • "The 10 Best Tutoring Centers in Saratoga" is an online listing of Yelp's top-rated tutorial centers close to West Valley. Many focus on K-12 education, but some may offer higher-level help as well.
  • Craigslist: many private tutors advertise via Craigslist, but you need to search for and vet them yourself. It's a good resource to see who's available, their level of expertise (from high school students to PhDs), and the going hourly rate for private tutors in the Bay Area. Of course, as with any Craigslist ad, please meet in a public place and be safe.

NOTE: The Success/Tutorial Center does NOT hire out our tutors for private, off-site tutoring. Additionally, we will NOT provide a tutor's private contact information to those who request it. We highly value the safety and privacy of our staff, and thank you for understanding.

Workshops

Workshops are held in the Success Center's computer classroom, are run by faculty members, and have tutoring available afterwards for that area of focus. More workshops (for various subjects and study skills) are being developed now and will be implemented in the future. If you have any questions about them or want to request one, please speak with the Success Center Coordinator, Jen Wagner, or email her at jennifer.wagner@westvalley.edu.

last published: 12/18/18