Syracuse University Literacy Corps

Launched in 1997, Syracuse University Literacy Corps (SULC), provides students opportunities to academically engage with the Syracuse community through multiple schools and nonprofit organizations. SULC, an America Reads program, is the foundation of the Shaw Center’s Literacy Initiatives, sending more than 300 SU tutors into the community each year to provide nearly 40,000 hours of rich literacy support in various classrooms and after-school program settings. Assessment Results can be found here.

The Syracuse University Literacy Corps is a reciprocal learning experience in which SU students gain firsthand experience by working as tutors in urban school and community-based settings. Each year over 250 SULC tutors provide academic support for students in the Syracuse City School District, Syracuse Catholic Schools, Solvay Union Free School District, East Syracuse School District, Syracuse Academy of Science Charter Schools and Syracuse-area community-based organizations. Under the direction of teachers and site staff, SULC tutors provide academic support to students in small group and one-on-one settings. The students in the SULC have a demonstrated ability and willingness to not only contribute to a child’s educational experience, but also to develop positive and impactful relationships. Annually, tutors elect 12-15 of their peers to operate Corps Council, the student-run governing body of the SULC. Corps Council members work with Shaw Center staff to facilitate the recruitment, hiring, and training of incoming SULC tutors. Additionally, the Corps Council coordinates all First Book fund-raisers emanating from the Shaw Center.

Each semester, tutors are required to participate in three SU Literacy Corps training sessions. These sessions provide students with new skills and strategies for effective tutoring, a broader perspective on urban education, and the opportunity to engage with local community leaders and experts.

Students must have Federal Work Study awards to apply. Students who qualify receive Federal Work Study assistance through the Office of Financial Aid. Originally funded through the America Reads program, started in 1997 under President Clinton, Federal Work Study grants support approximately 250 to 350 SU student volunteers each year. The $2500 average annual award is sufficient to support the efforts of many SU Literacy Corps participants.

SU Literacy Corps Position Description

The SU Literacy Corps is a community based service learning opportunity open to SU students from every college and major. Students must have Federal Work Study and a willingness to serve as role models for young children.

The position also includes trainings and reflections.

Successful tutors demonstrate:

  • Ability to work with and understand students from a wide variety of backgrounds
  • Appropriate level of professionalism and demeanor
  • Dependability in keeping to scheduled work hours and punctuality
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues
  • Adaptability to unexpected events
  • Ability to take feedback in a constructive manner

SU Literacy Corps Prospective Tutors

Syracuse University Literacy Corps recruits new tutors at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters.

To apply for an SU Literacy Corps Tutor position:

Visit the Shaw Center staff in 309 Women’s Building to pick up the application and reference forms or download them here. Applicants should attach their resume and weekly view myslice class schedule to their application form. Once the application is complete, submit all materials to Shaw Center staff to schedule your in-person interview. The applicants must submit 3 completed reference forms prior to being placed at a site. The references do not have to be submitted with the application.