adult student and tutor studying

Volunteer Tutor Opportunities

People Educating People (PEP) is the volunteer component of the Adult Education and English Language Acquisition (ELA) department at College of DuPage. PEP volunteers primarily assist instructors as classroom tutors both one-to-one and in small groups with adult students.  The PEP program has been supporting adult learners since 1982. Learn more about PEP below. 

To equip adult students with confidence and skills necessary for success in daily life.

PEP volunteers primarily assist instructors as classroom tutors. PEP tutors work with adult students one-to-one and in groups (typically two to five students) in the following classes: reading, writing and basic math for persons without a high school diploma and beginning ELA. Some experienced PEP volunteers tutor adults one-to-one, independent of a class.

Persons who prefer to volunteer on an occasional basis are also welcome. PEP volunteers assist new students with the testing and registration process prior to each semester. Skilled volunteers help with special activities such as filing, mailings, word processing, data entry, video taping, writing a feature story, publicity and event planning.

Tutors must be friendly, enthusiastic, patient and encouraging. They show respect, acceptance and tact. Their role demands flexibility, punctuality and dependability. These volunteers must have a high school diploma or a GED® certificate. A solid command of spoken and written English is required. Bilingual skills are not required. A desire and aptitude for helping others learn are essential for all PEP tutors.

Classes meet at various sites in communities throughout DuPage County, including Addison, Aurora, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Naperville, West Chicago, and Westmont. Reading and/or math classes meet at the main campus in Glen Ellyn. 

Classes meet two days per week for two or three hours. Most classes take place Monday through Thursday in the morning or evening. A few classes meet on weekends.

Tutors commit to one session per week for a minimum of one semester. Other volunteers work as little as once per semester. PEP matches your interests and availability with the program's current needs.

PEP requires that all volunteer classroom tutors complete a 12-hour training series prior to working in the program. Training includes the following topics: PEP orientation, the adult learner, cultural differences, learning/teaching styles, instructional techniques, assessment, materials, resources and lesson planning.

PEP occasionally waives training if the applicant provides current documentation verifying the completion of an equivalent literacy volunteer training program that satisfies PEP training requirements. Volunteers for whom training has been waived will meet with the coordinator for an orientation to the program before starting.

Volunteers assisting in non-tutoring capacities receive on-the-job training unless special skills are needed.

"Rewarding, something to look forward to. A lot of fun, with two-way learning. Awesome!"

"Seeing my students improve week to week is gratifying. Their appreciation and hard work is positive feedback."

"These students are incredible! I'm grateful to have a small part in helping these wonderful, determined, generous people."

"My experience was both gratifying and pleasurable."

"I'm happy with the decision I made to volunteer my time for this program. The students are wonderful. Very rewarding."

Contact Nina Papanikolla (630) 942-3978 or

Interested in teaching ELA classes for us? 
Visit Adult Education - ESL to learn more and apply. 

Contact Information

Adult Education and ELA Office
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110
(630) 942-3697

Kristy Tomaszewski
Coordinator, Student Services

If you are attempting to register for a class, leave a message and Adult Education staff will return your call as soon as possible. You can also reach us by email at or at any time.