Tutoring/Coaching & Academic Improvement



Saturday Mornings, 9 am to 12 pm. You can sign up for 1 or more hours. Many W2C students need extra help to succeed in school. If you enjoy helping students learn in subjects ranging from English and math to Spanish and science (even German!) tutoring may be for you! Tutors work one-on-one with W2C students on Saturday mornings (9-12) in Waukegan.

Each student works with a tutor for one hour on a specified subject and will bring materials such as homework, a test/quiz to review, or other class materials. Tutors are assigned a student, time slot and a subject each week. Many tutors work for more than 1 time slot with more than 1 student. Each week W2C staff puts together a roster of tutors and students so that tutors know subject(s), student(s) and time slot(s) they will be tutoring. W2C strives to assign the same tutor to the same student(s) each week to build a relationship. For volunteers who can’t commit to a weekly assignment, W2C does maintain a substitute list and these volunteers are contacted to fill in when a regular tutor will be absent.

W2C talks with tutors to understand their skills and levels at which they would be comfortable tutoring. Some work with 5th graders on reading while others work with high schoolers on calculus, fulfilling a wide range of needs.

Note: All volunteers must complete a child protection training session and have a background check by W2C. For more information contact Elyse Danckers:Waukegan2coll@gmail.com

W2c students learn about careers including being a dentist, accountant, architect, medical technician, research scientist, information technology professional and public relations professional.


Flexible Schedule

If you want to guide a student, help them envision their future, and realize their college dreams, coaching may be for you. Each coach will be paired with a student and will meet with them monthly to discuss academic progress and to coach them on reaching their goals. Meetings may be for ice cream or be more elaborate, like a trip to a museum.

Coaches are assigned to students in high school. Coaches of juniors and seniors focus on college-related activities – visiting campuses, working on applications, identifying scholarships, etc. Coaches of younger students begin by working on envisioning future plans and skills for success.

Each coaching relationship is unique so coaches and students typically work independently. There are optional coaches’ meetings where coaches can share what’s working and what’s challenging in their relationships. For late high schoolers there are meetings with college counselors and workshops to guide students, coaches and parents through the college process.

Note: All volunteers must complete a child protection training session and have a background check by W2C. For more information contact Elyse Danckers:Waukegan2coll@gmail.com



The coaching aspect of W2C pairs an adult volunteer with a student. The goal is to form a relationship in which the coach can help the student set and realize goals. The pairs work on goal-setting, and academic skills such as time management and career investigation. As the student moves into upper high school, college research and applications become the focus. Importantly, coaches maintain contact with their student after the student goes to college. This relationship is an extra safety net to keep the student in college once they get there. All volunteers must interview with our Program Coordinator and complete a background check and a child protection workshop before being matched with a student.

Academic Improvement

W2C will seek to improve the academic performance of our students so that they are prepared for college and are attractive candidates for colleges (more choices, more scholarships). In addition to the ongoing one-on-one counseling in which W2C encourages academic progress and advocates in the schools for the most challenging coursework possible for each student, a variety of academic supports are available:


  • Weekly Tutoring: W2C offers weekly tutoring in many subjects, focusing on homework help. This effort is very important in helping our students improve grades and gain confidence in core academic areas. Each week a student works one-on-one with a tutor in a specific subject (many students work with several tutors, each in a different subject area). Tutors come from all over Lake County and vary in their expertise. For example, a scientist may be adept at helping a student in physics and a retired English teacher may help a student with writing. In general, we seek to pair the same student with the same tutor each week so that a relationship can be built. This approach of assigning tutors takes staff time to schedule as compared to a “drop in” approach, but yields better results for students and volunteers. Each week there are approximately 40 volunteer hours of tutoring.
  • Read to Achieve: In January, 2011 W2C kicked-off a read-aloud program, Read to Achieve, that helps improve the students’ abilities in reading, vocabulary, and comprehension. Students read aloud to a tutor once a week for 30 minutes at the Waukegan Public Library. We will continue to build this program to 20+ hours of reading per week.
  • ACT prep: Volunteers with experience in ACT preparation are working with W2C seniors. In the second semester of this year, juniors will begin work with a volunteer ACT prep specialist as well.
  • W2C Summer Enrichment Program: Despite the hard work of our students and tutors, we continue to have concerns about the overall preparedness of our students. Lagging ACT scores and the low placement of our students in College of Lake County classes indicate that there is much work on academics to be done. Toward that end, we developed summer sessions in math, reading and writing at both the middle school and high school levels. While summer school programs exist to retake a specific subject (e.g., geometry), there are no options for students to “go back to basics” and master key skills like fractions and decimals.
  • Summer academic camps on college campuses: Part of W2C’s strategy to keep students on a path to college is to help them envision themselves there. Summer camps on campuses are an excellent way for students to experience college life and at the same time gain academic skills. (This also helps parents get more accustomed to the idea of their children being away at school.) W2C staff puts together a list of more than 30 options for students in a wide range of topics for relatively low cost ($300-400) and/or with scholarship options and then works with students and their families to choose and apply to camps. Three-quarters of W2C students attended a summer camp in 2012 and all received full or partial scholarships.

Waukegan To College Website: http://www.waukegantocollege.org/index.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/W2College

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Waukegan2College/info

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