Success Center

General Information

The Success Center is closed until Fall 2020.

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). During the shelter-in-place, all tutors are available online.

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.

Success Center

Contact Information

Jen Wagner
Success Center Coordinator
jennifer.wagnerFREEWEST_VALLEY

Vida Sabouri
Success Center Program Specialist
vida.sabouriFREEWEST_VALLEY

  • During the Shelter-in-Place, all tutoring is being done online via Canvas
  • Go to the Portal and enroll in the zero-unit, zero-cost class titled LRSV 110, "Supervised Tutoring"
  • Check the "Schedule" 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.

In order to receive free tutoring, current West Valley students need to enroll in the zero unit 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.wagnerFREEWEST_VALLEY or Vida Sabouri at 408-741-2602 or vida.sabouriFREEWEST_VALLEY 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.

Weekly schedules are posted under the "Schedule" tab, and will "grow"/evolve during the first weeks of the semester. Following are the classes for which support will be available during Summer 2020, updated as more support is found:

  • Accounting—10, 11, 50
  • Adobe Suite—General Support/Help
  • Arts—1D, 4
  • Biology—2, 10, 11, 48
  • Business—51
  • Canvas—General Support/Help
  • Chemistry—1A, 1B, 2
  • Child Studies—2
  • Communication Studies—1
  • Computer Science—2, 4A, 4A1, 4B, 5A
  • Computing—General Support/Help
  • Economics—1A/2A,1B/2B
  • English—1A, 1B, 1C
  • Geology—1A
  • Math—D, 1, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 10, 12, 106R, 903P
  • Music—5
  • NC Bookkeeping/Accounting—1
  • Physics—4A, 10
  • Psychology—1
  • Theater Arts—15
  • Writing—General Support/Help in Any Subject
  • Zoom—Basic (I.T.) Support/Help

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 pursue the process: see the "Become a Tutor" tab for more information.

Thank you for your interest in working with The Success Center at West Valley College (WVC). The college invests in Peer Tutors as valued members of the department(s) they serve, for many go on to become credentialed teachers at all levels of education. Additionally, we aim to “support students along their pathways to reach […] career goals,” and we believe strongly that tutoring skills are relevant to a variety of careers, not just teaching—by becoming a tutor, students strengthen on-the-job skills, build a resume, and gain early entry into a potential career path.

Please remember that successful completion of Interdisciplinary Studies 40 (ISTU 40): Tutor Training (and ISTU 40E: Writing Tutor Training) is required before someone can submit an application. However, there is no guarantee that you will be hired after passing ISTU 40/E. To apply for a Peer Tutor position, please submit this application (including the indicated attachments) and arrange for a WVC instructor to complete your Faculty Recommendation Form; if you wish to tutor in a variety of subjects, a separate referral will be needed for each separate discipline.

General Peer Tutors at West Valley currently earn $14.75/hour (Writing Tutors earn $15.75/hour) during their first semester of employment, and get regular pay increases each full semester with a $17/hour cap.

In order to apply to become a WC Peer Tutor, you must:

Have earned a “B” or better in all subjects you wish to tutor:

  1. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  2. Submit a Faculty Recommendation Form from a WVC instructor for every subject covered
  3. Pass ISTU 40: Tutor Training (0.5 unit) AND ISTU 40E: Writing Tutor Training (0.5 unit) for writing tutors
  4. Speak, write, and understand English fluently and clearly
  5. Limit WVC work hours to 18 hours/week or less, no matter the number of positions/departments
  6. Be eligible to work on campus
  7. Register for a minimum of 6 units at WVC in any Fall/Spring semester during which you wish to work as a Peer Tutor

If you meet all the requirements above and are passionate about helping others, please complete an online application form and include a resume and unofficial transcript as attachments. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jen Wagner at jennifer.wagner@westvalley.edu. After submitting your application, you are welcome to inquire about your status, including why you weren’t asked to interview and/or offered a job as a peer tutor; I’ll happily strategize with you better application and/or interview techniques for future jobs!

  • 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 (or remotely), close to classes.
  • 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 Faculty Recommendations to be submitted via the online form for any class you wish to tutor, but feel free to submit your application before they're done.
  • Submit a completed online application; this will go 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? email%20Jen%20Wagner.

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 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.

From the West Valley College website, click on Canvas in the main header.

Canvas link on West Valley College homepage

Select the "Sign into Canvas with Single Sign On" button to enter credentials.

Canvas login

From the Canvas Dashboard, choose the class for which you wish to receive tutoring.

Canvas nav with yellow arrow pointing to Dashboard

Choose NetTutor from the list on the left.

Large yellow arrow pointing to NetTutor in list

Accept End User License Agreement and click Continue.

End User License Agreement

Watch the video for help using NetTutor.

NetTutor help video

Select a group to receive tutoring in that area.

Subject selection screen

Select one of the following:

  • Meet with a Live Tutor
  • Drop Off a Question
  • Class Locker
NetTutor Method Selection Screen

Resources

NetTutor Demonstration

How to Use NetTutor

New NetTutor User Experience for 2018 Introduction

NetTutor Best Practices (2015)

Welcome to NetTutor (an ad for the service)

Uploading a Paper in NetTutor

Note: NetTutor is an off-site resource paid for by the West Valley College Success Center and is available for use to all currently registered WVC students for free.

Last Updated 7/27/20