The aim of tutoring is to help people succeed in their studies. A wise person once said that “studying is the best period of life”, a statement worth believing in. Tutors are the people that help every new student get accustomed to the new routines, make an unfamiliar city familiar and introduce the new students to a bunch of excellent people.
The benefits of tutoring for the new students are vast, but also the experience and knowledge gained by the tutor is irreplaceable. Every tutor has a chance to get familiar with JAMKs practices in a deep level and see a side in the work of JAMKO and JAMK that is often hidden from the public. And best of all, the tutors get to network with each other and create lifelong friendships with students from other degree programmes and classes.
Who are the Degree Tutors?
Degree tutors operate in the English degree programmes as peers and helping hands for the new students especially in the beginning of the studies. Adjusting to new environment in the school, the city and possibly Finland as a country, not to mention familiarizing with the study tools (ASIO, Optima) with all the passwords and student IDs is not easy alone. Who else than a more experienced student, a peer tutor, would be better to help the new students into the student life?
Every degree programme has their own, trained, degree tutors so alongside with the general study related issues one can also get practical tips related to that specific degree programme.
Job Description of a Degree Tutor
The degree tutors help the new students start their study life, get acquainted with their new surroundings and organize free time activities. The differences between the work of Finnish programmes and English programmes are small but the challenges faced by the Degree tutors are a bit different.
The most important job for the tutor is to offer peer support for all the students and help them face their challenges and questions. Degree tutors are not miracle workers but they are well-trained to do their best to progress the positive atmosphere of the student community and ease the adjusting into new situations.
It is important that every student knows their tutors and does not hesitate to ask for their advice. To ensure this is reality the Degree tutors introduce themselves right at the first days of school and some of them can be remembered from the initial entrance exams too. Degree tutoring has to be able to answer the questions that might pop into the student’s heads or at least direct them to the source of the answers. In addition to the degree tutors the students also have tutor-teachers with whom the tutors cooperate. When a student faces challenges with study progress the tutor-teacher can guide the student for example to study council or study psychologist.
The Degree tutors participate actively in the degree-tutor team meetings run by the JAMKO board member responsible of tutoring. The work in the tutor team includes organizing events and creating a sense of togetherness among the tutors as well as among the new students. In addition the team discusses, plans tutor work and shares experiences. Degree tutors also work closely with their own study field student organizations and tutor-teachers. A number of exchange students arrive to JAMK annually to study in the English degree programmes and for these students JAMKO has special well trained International tutors. The Degree and International tutors work closely together.
How to participate in the Degree tutor work?
Becoming a Degree tutor is possible for all the students of the English degree programmes of JAMK. The Finnish degree programmes have Peer tutors.
JAMKO recruits dozens of Degree tutors annually. The application period starts during the spring period so if you are interested follow JAMKO news. During the recruiting period JAMKOs website has a recruitment form for the tutor candidates. After the recruiting period all the applicants will be interviewed personally. The JAMKO board member responsible for International Tutoring and Degree tutoring and the Sport and Tutor Secretary will conduct interviews where they get to know the candidates and think together how to develop tutor activities and what the candidates can offer to tutoring.
When the new tutors are selected JAMKO organizes training where the new tutors are familiarized into the practices of tutoring and of course each other. The training starts with a lecture series organized in the Rajakatu Main Campus and culminate in the overnight tutor camps after which the tutors are ready to continue the tutor tradition and welcome the new students to JAMK.