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Frequently Asked Questions

For Volunteers

Interested in becoming a volunteer with Whatcom Literacy Council? Find answers to the most common questions below.



  • What type of tutoring do you offer?
    One-to-one tutors help each learner work toward their goals of basic reading, writing, computing, and preparation for the GED (general education diploma).
  • What group classes do you offer?
    We offer Small Group Classes for English as a second language. Contact us for a current class schedule.
  • What is Talk Time?
    Talk Time is an English conversation class for adult learners. Here you will practice speaking, listening, writing, and reading in English.
  • How often do one-to-one tutors meet with learners?
    We ask pairs to commit to meeting two times a week, 90 minutes per session, for one year.
  • How often do small group classes meet?
    Classes are offered in 8 week sessions during most school quarters.
  • Where do tutor/learner pairs meet?
    Pairs meet at public locations throughout Whatcom County including libraries, grocery stores, coffee shops and more. Coordinators will assist in finding a convenient location.
  • How much do tutoring and classes cost?
    All of our tutoring and classes are free of charge.
  • Do I need a social security number to enroll?
  • How do I get started?
    Call our office at (360) 752-8678.
  • How long does it take to be matched with a tutor or to be added to a class?
    It varies. Sometimes it will only be a couple of weeks. Other times it can be a month or longer. It depends on how many tutors we have available at the time, which classes are going on and the times you are available to meet. Usually the more open your schedule is, the quicker we can place you.
  • How large are your Small Group Classes?
    Our group classes typically average 3 or more learners.
  • How long will it take to get my GED?
    Unfortunately, we can’t give you an exact answer. How long it takes to get a GED depends on many factors including your current reading and math level, how long it’s been since you were in school, and how much time you can devote to studying outside of class. For someone who has only been out of school a couple of years, has lots of time to study, and is reading at a high school level, getting a GED can take from 6 months to a year. For someone who has been out of school for many years, doesn’t have much time to study, and has difficulty reading, it could take many years to get a GED. Once you come in for pre-testing and we get to know more about you and your situation, we’ll be able to give you a better idea of how long getting a GED might take you.
  • Can I have a one-on-one tutor and also attend Small Group Classes?
  • None of your current Small Group Classes fits my schedule. What can I do?
    Please contact our staff to discuss your situation. We can be reached at (360) 752-8678. Para preguntas en español, pregunte por Gloria.
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