Degree tutors are students of the English-language degree programmes, who provide support for students of their own degree programmes. They introduce students to student life and the new situations in which students will end up while studying, help the new students to meet new people and to get to know the strange city.
Adapting to a new environment in an institution of higher education, in Jyväskylä, in Finland, and getting used to the tools used in studies (ASIO, Optima, Elmo) with their passwords and usernames, are no easy tasks to complete alone. In every degree programme there are are knowledgeable, trained degree tutors, who in addition to providing tips regarding studies in general, carry information relating to their own degree programme.
Tasks of a degree tutor
Tutors of the English language degree programme students help new students to get started with their studies and student life in general, and introduce the new study environment to the new students. They also arrange recreational activities. As far as job description goes, there is not a great difference between tutors of English-speaking students and tutors of Finnish ones. The degree tutors, however, encounter different challenges than their Finnish counterparts. Every tutor’s most important mission remains the same: to help the students in everything related to life as a student. Tutors understand a student’s feelings and situation in life, which is why the tutors are approachable when it comes to problems related to both school life and free time. A short chat with a tutor helps to forget your troubles and to find help to your problems. In the tutor-led small group meetings new students get to ponder student life in a more detailed manner, and to discuss confidentially with their own tutor. In addition to the degree tutors, tutor teachers, with whom the tutors collaborate, help and and provide support for the new students. When a student meets challenges in advancing their studies, a tutor can instruct her/him to contact a study counselor or a study psychologist.
Degree tutors participate in an active manner in the degree tutor teams, led by the JAMKO board tutoring correspondent. In the teams topical issues relating to tutoring are discussed, tutoring activities planned and experiences shared. Degree tutors also co-operate closely with the tutoring responsible of their study field association’s board. The English language degree programmes receive annually numerous exchange students, who are supported by separately trained international tutors. Degree and international tutors co-operate closely with one another.