Tutors WorkingJob Description

Thank you for your interest in working at the Writing Center. We strive to provide students with thorough, high-quality assistance with their writing. Our goal is to guide students through improving as writers from the first thought to the final draft. 

All writing tutors are current SJSU graduate and undergraduate students from various disciplines. Writing tutors in the Writing Center work 5-20 hours per week and are responsible for the following duties: 

  • conduct one-on-one and small-group tutoring sessions (in person and/or online) with writers of all levels and disciplines on a variety of assignments and projects, such as essays, theses, proposals, lab reports, research papers, and job search correspondence;
  • develop and present one-hour instructional workshops;
  • work on Writing Center projects (e.g., creating instructional handouts or videos, writing for our blog, working tabling and/or pop-up events);
  • attend monthly staff meetings/training sessions;
  • maintain careful tutoring records and communicate with SJSU faculty via email;
  • participate in outreach activities;
  • participate in training activities for new applicants. 

Tutors decide how they want to be deployed every semester, and we have a few different types of tutor. We offer the option of working as a course-embedded tutor; in this role, a tutor is embedded in a writing-intensive course (e.g., 100W), providing supplemental instruction to students in that class. Course-embedded tutors work five hours per week for each class they support, and they work on a flexible schedule agreed upon in advance with the instructor they're paired with.

We also offer the option of working as a graduate embedded tutor, who is embedded in a college or department and works with graduate students in their discipline. This work is similar to being a course-embedded tutor except the tutor supports graduate students throughout a college or department (instead of in one specific class). 


Required Qualifications

To be a writing tutor, you must

  • be a currently enrolled student at SJSU with a "clear" academic standing. 
  • have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2. 
  • have earned a grade of "B" or higher in first-year writing courses (e.g., English 1A, English 1B, English 2).
  • have superior writing, reading, and critical thinking skills. 
  • have superior interpersonal and communication skills. 

Please note that to be a tutor embedded in an upper-division course, you must have also completed 100W with a grade of "B" or higher (or be currently enrolled in 100W and earning a "B" or higher). 

Hiring & Training Process

The initial hiring phase takes at least three hours to complete. To be hired, you must complete the following steps (in order):

  • submit a complete application (online). 
  • participate in an oral interview with the Writing Center Director. 
  • complete a pedagogy test in which you will demonstrate your knowledge of the writing process and your ability to explain concepts related to style, grammar, organization, essay structure, and content development. 
  • participate in a tutoring session as a student, bringing in a piece of your own writing. 

Once you have finished the initial steps for hiring, your paid training will begin. This process takes 10+ hours to complete. The following steps must be completed:

  • observe a minimum of three tutoring sessions by experienced writing tutors.
  • discuss best practices with an experienced tutor.
  • complete a three-hour training about working with multilingual learners.
  • participate in a one-hour trial run for a mock tutoring session.
  • conduct a minimum of four mock tutoring sessions with experienced writing tutors (two focusing on grammar and two focusing on content), following the Writing Center format for tutoring and writing follow-up e-mails to instructors after each session.
  • upon conditional hiring, be shadowed and evaluated by experienced writing tutors and/or the director for two tutoring sessions.

You will not be considered an official Writing Center tutor until all training requirements have been met. If the training requirements cannot be met, you will only be paid for the training that you completed.  

Pay Rates & Job Benefits 

Pay rates begin at $16/hour (undergraduates) and $17/hour (graduate students). After you are hired, there are then multiple opportunities to develop professionally and earn additional hourly pay increases (up to $18/hour for undergraduates and $19/hour for graduate students). Writing Center tutors also get parking permit discounts and priority class registration

The professional training that tutors receive while working at the Writing Center has helped lead our former employees to work at places like Google, Facebook, Netgear, and National Geographic; other Writing Center tutor alumni have gone onto PhD programs and teaching positions. The Writing Center helps you gain valuable experience in writing, teaching, and tutoring, but it also helps you develop skills in team-building, event coordination, public speaking, and graphic design, among many others.

Check out the "Where Are They Now?" feature on our Writing Center blog to read interviews with Center alumni and get to know more about how the Writing Center helped them achieve their professional goals. 

NOTE: We are not currently accepting new job applications for the fall 2020 semester. Check back frequently for updates and email the Writing Center Director, Michelle Hager (, if you'd like to put your name on an interest list for the position when it re-opens. 



SJSU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender status, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, or covered veteran status consistent with applicable federal and state laws. This policy applies to all SJSU students, faculty, and staff as well as University programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations are made for applicants with disabilities who self-disclose. 

The latest San José State University Safety 101 Uniform Campus Crime and Security Report is available. You may request a copy of San José State University’s annual safety report by contacting the University Police Department at (408) 924-2222 or by visiting the website at

This position is covered by collective bargaining Unit 11.