Syracuse University Literacy Corps

Launched in 1997, Syracuse University Literacy Corps (SULC), provides SU undergraduate 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 200 SULC tutors into the community each year to provide nearly 20,000 hours of rich literacy support in classrooms and after-school program settings.

The Syracuse University Literacy Corps is a reciprocal learning experience in which SU students gain firsthand experience by working as tutors in local schools and community-based settings. SULC tutors provide academic support for students in the Syracuse City School District, Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Syracuse, 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.

SULC tutors, although considered volunteers in the schools and organizations they serve, are SU employees. Originally strictly compensated through Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds, SULC is now open to all SU undergraduate students regardless of their FWS status thanks to the contribution of private donors and organizations. Students who qualify receive Federal Work Study assistance through the Office of Financial Aid. Additional funding in the form of grants and donations are available through the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and the Gettinger Family Foundation.

SU Literacy Corps Position Description

The SU Literacy Corps is a community based service learning opportunity open to enrolled SU undergraduate students in good academic standing from any college, year and major.

SULC tutors are required to work approximately 8-10 hours a week in blocks of minimum 3 hours, plus travel time (transportation provided by the Shaw Center). Additionally, tutors are required to attend mandatory trainings and write reflections before, during and after service (3 per semester).

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 for a semester long commitment
  • 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 in 111 Waverly Avenue, Suite 102 to pick up the application or download them here. Submit completed application along with your resume and Weekly-View MySlice class schedule at the Shaw Center to schedule an in-person interview.

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation

In the Spring of 2024, SULC was granted with the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Award. Mother Cabrini Health Foundation’s “mission is to provide grants to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of diverse communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. This award will support the hiring of additional undergraduate students for tutoring positions over the next two years (Jan 2024-Dec 2025).

To learn more about the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, visit

Gettinger Family Foundation

Since 2014, SULC has been supported by the contribution of the Gettinger Family Foundation. The Gettinger Family Foundation’s mission is to have a direct and immediate impact on people’s lives and society. They help provide support in education, patient care, medical research, and community wellness.

To learn more about our Collaboration for Change and the direct impact of the Gettinger Family Foundation, click here.