Summer School Volunteer

This page is for university students looking to volunteer with VCESS. If you are looking for general information about the program, or are a high school student interested in applying, you can find more information here, or contact us at

Tutor with VCESS

The VCE Summer School (VCESS) is a two-week program, designed to give high school students from a wide range of backgrounds a boost with their final years of school. It’s run by university students and we need you to be involved – whether tutoring a class or helping out with our Special Roles. 

The VCESS 2023 program run in January has concluded. If you're interested in tutoring at a future VCESS program, you can learn more about what's involved in tutoring at VCESS below or add your name to our VCESS 2024 expression of interest mailing list here.

Applications for Director

The current program Directors are Toby Lewis, Caitlin Kane and Lucas Spaleta. VCESS Directors also tutor at the program. Applications for VCESS Director have been re-opened and will close at 9am Thursday, 15 June. Two positions are available to join returning Directors Caitlin Kane and Lucas Spaleta for VCESS 2024.

More information about this role is available on the UMSU website, including the position advertisement and description, and guidance from previous Directors is available, which we highly recommend reviewing before completing an application.

Tutor in January 2024

Would you like to volunteer to tutor with VCESS? Each January, we have more than 200 tutors who volunteer on the program, tutoring across 70+ VCE subjects. Volunteering with VCESS is a great way to meet new university friends, develop fantastic skills, and make a difference in the community.

The VCESS 2023 program run in January has concluded. If you'd like to stay in the loop with updates and information on volunteer recruitment for the upcoming VCESS program, please add your name to our VCESS 2024 expression of interest mailing list here.

What do VCESS tutors do? Subject Tutors at VCESS provide subject-specific tutoring to year eleven and twelve students through guided private study, classroom lessons, one-on-one tutoring, and more. Each tutor focuses on a specific subject (or a few specific subjects) they know well and helps students start the year with a strong foundation.

Many tutors also volunteer for additional roles alongside subject tutoring. For example creating academic content for subjects, living with our residential students, creating and promoting our daily Zine, or delivering a non-academic workshop on the history of chocolate. Check out our Special Role teams below if you are interested!

Who are we looking for? Our tutors are passionate about what they teach and create a positive environment for learning. When choosing tutors, we consider why applicants want to be involved, understanding and commitment to the role, awareness of disadvantage in education, interpersonal and teaching skills, and knowledge about the chosen subject area.

Tutors must have completed at least six months of tertiary education (university or similar) before tutoring in January and hold a valid Working With Children Check (which are free for volunteers). It is not necessary that tutors have studied VCE in high school (IB, interstate or international equivalents are fine!) or be students at the University of Melbourne (other universities or already graduated work too).

What's involved in tutoring at VCESS? The most recent VCESS program was held at the University of Melbourne Parkville campus from 9 to 20 January, 2023. Tutoring one class involves five to seven contact hours over two weeks, with additional time required for lesson planning. All tutors were expected to attend at least one day of training in late 2022.

Beyond this minimum involvement, many tutors take on multiple classes and opt in to additional one-on-one tutoring time. Special Roles have a various time commitments outlined in the relevant position description, from holding a group meeting each day to living on campus for two weeks. There are also opportunities to volunteer in brief roles for events, workshops, and operations support.

How do we support VCESS tutors? Mandatory training is provided for all VCESS tutors before they commence their role. This includes an introduction to the program and expectations of tutors, teaching strategies and creating and delivering effective lessons, and a briefing on disadvantage in education and the history of VCESS. We also organise pre-program social events for tutors to meet new people and ease into the VCESS community.

As needed, the Directors are available before, during and after the program for any VCESS-related concerns. Support for tutors during the program is also available from our Welfare team (help with wellbeing or exclusion concerns), TSO team (help with lesson planning, teaching strategies or classroom management), and the Operations team (help with logistics and access issues). 

But what's it really like volunteering at VCESS? If you'd prefer to hear from our past tutors themselves, check our our Tutor Testimonial page!

Positions Available

Everyone involved in the VCE Summer School is expected to be a Subject Tutor, but there are a wide range of other roles for you to consider—read more about the most recent positions available here.

The following tutor roles were available for VCESS in January 2023:

  • Subject Tutor—provides subject tutoring (all volunteers)
  • Subject Coordinator—provides academic support for specific subjects
  • Events Team—plans and delivers major events at the program
  • Group Leaders—supports students through daily meetings and leading program activities
  • Operations Team—assists students and tutors with logistics, access, and enquires on program
  • Residential Team—supervises and supports residential students while staying on campus
  • Tutor Support Officer Team—provides ongoing support to tutors for lesson planning, teaching strategies or classroom management
  • Welfare Team (incl. Queer Representative, Disability and Access Representative, and People of Colour Representative)—supports students and tutors with wellbeing and inclusion concerns
  • Zine Team (incl. Media Officer)—creates and promotes the daily program publication