Tips for Students

Tips for UMN Students Preparing to Serve as Virtual Learner Support - Fall 2020

COVID19 has made it tough for kids to benefit from all of the opportunities schools and community organizations provide. How can your strengths and talents be put to work to help young people?

Build Your Profile!

  • Showcase the assets you bring to helping youth!
    • Are you multilingual?
    • Can you play an instrument?
  • Commit to days and times that are regularly available for you.
    • Kids need to get to know you and that takes time. It’s critical that you are able to be a regular part of their distance learning experience. Once you make the commitment, stick to it. The kids are counting on you being there.
  • Let yourself shine through.
    • Use the About Me section of your profile to give the community organization, school, or teacher a sense of who you are and why you've chosen to serve as virtual learner support.

Make Contact!

  • Reach out to the point-person listed for the community organization or school you’ve been matched with.
  • Be ready to share any relevant work or educational experiences in supporting youth.
  • Share your availability - the days and times you are available and the length of time you can help out.
  • Plan for cancellations or scheduling adjustments ahead of time.
    • What are their expectations for if you have to miss your scheduled time? 
  • Ask about any site-specific training you need to complete prior to starting.

Complete ALL Required Training!

  • Expect to complete a background check.
    • Your site will most likely require that you complete a background check in order to serve as virtual learner support to young people in their school or community.
    • Expect to pay for the background check. These run between $10 - $25.
  • Read through the Safety of Minors page on the UMN Virtual Learner Support site. 
  • Complete any required trainings, as indicated by your course instructor.

For additional help, contact [email protected].