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Vassar Education Collaboration

Vassar currently has over 120 students serving 250 Poughkeepsie youth. Vassar Education Collaboration engages more student volunteers than any other program on campus. An estimated 1,000 Vassar students have helped 1,500 Poughkeepsie students in the program’s first 15 years.

The Vassar After School Tutoring Program (VAST)

For the past 15 years, Vassar College has operated an afterschool tutoring/mentoring program at the Poughkeepsie Middle School, designed to increase educational opportunity in the City of Poughkeepsie and foster a connection between Vassar College and its immediate community.

The Vassar After School Tutoring Program (“VAST”) recognizes that teachers, parents, Poughkeepsie Middle School scholars, and the Vassar community are important partners. VAST provides individual mentors between 30-40 scholars to promote interest in academics, love of learning, and creative self-expression. VAST also helps prepare students for high school and Vassar College’s Exploring College program, which is offered in Poughkeepsie High School to guide students through the college application process.

For Students/Parents

VAST is a one-on-one academic mentorship program between Vassar College students and Poughkeepsie Middle School (PMS) scholars. Scholar applications are received and accepted on a first come first served basis. Apply here. Once accepted, applications are valid for the whole school year, and scholars must reapply at the start of each academic year.

The program aims to provide not only homework help, but access to fun and exciting academic curriculum through collaboration with Vassar College organizations. Tuesdays are reserved for academic work; if a scholar does not have homework, or has finished work early, then they must be engaging in an academic activity. In years past, these activities have included: art, cooking, debate, theater, and sports.

If you are a parent who would like to enroll your scholar in VAST, please email or fill out an application here.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, due to the pandemic, VAST will be engaged in online programming until further notice. The programming will include group sessions and individual tutoring. Tuesday from 3pm-4pm will be for homework help and group tutoring. Thursday from 3pm-4pm will be when VAST tutors provide enrichment activities.

Vassar will also provide individual tutoring (online) for Poughkeepsie City School District students from Grade 4 to Grade 12. The tutors will be matched with the needs of the scholar and frequency and time of the tutoring sessions will be determined by the tutor and scholar/parent. Vassar’s ability to meet the tutoring need will be contingent upon the availability of student volunteers. Please complete this application form to request tutoring.

For Vassar Students

The VAST Mentor plays an important role at the program. You will:

  • Assist scholars in their homework
  • Promote academic engagement through VAST activities and making personal connections.
  • Act not just as tutors but as mentors, building a relationship with your scholar, and perhaps share your experiences with pursuing higher education.

VAST also offers paid work-study positions per year, as well as many volunteer and field work positions. If interested in work-study, please look for the VAST Mentor application through the Off-Campus Job Search on Jobx. Applicants will be interviewed and accepted based on merit and prior experience with the program.

  • Those interested in receiving field work credit should speak to Lisa Kaul in the Community Engaged Learning Office in Main 165, or at
  • Students interested in volunteering should

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