West Philadelphia Tutoring Project

Who are we?

The West Philadelphia Tutoring Project is a volunteer organization based out of Civic House at the University of Pennsylvania. WPTP works with students, or “tutees,” in seven elementary, middle and high schools in West Philadelphia and runs an On-Campus tutoring program, which serves more than 60 additional students. The organization is led by 12 Executive Board Members (EBMs) and is supported by a Program Director of Civic House, who also serves as the WPTP Coordinator.  WPTP currently has over 300 tutors who work with students on a weekly basis.

What do we do?

WPTP’s primary objective is to improve the educational experience of students in the local Philadelphia community through weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions. Our program is structured according to our belief that a more intimate and focused academic environment will enhance local students’ learning, as has been confirmed by significant improvements in our tutees’ test scores. Additionally, WPTP encourages tutors and tutees to develop personal relationships through their academic work.  In order to provide these experiences for students as well as address the needs of the host school, WPTP is divided into three subprograms:

Off-Campus Program: This arm of WPTP pairs tutees with Penn tutors both inside and outside of the classroom; tutors work with students either in the classroom or a separate location within the school designated for tutoring. All tutors are trained before tutoring begins. Tutor training is designed to prepare Penn students for teaching math and literacy in grades K-8, relay effective and self-sufficient study habits, and help them appreciate the social development of  the children they will encounter. Tutors meet once per week with their tutees, which are selected by the Site Coordinator, an on-site staff member who can identify the students most in need of extra tutoring.

University City High Program: This semester WPTP is continuing to work at University City High, a local Philadelphia public school close to Penn’s campus. The UCHS model is unique in that WPTP tutors will work with students in a classroom twice per week, increasing their impact on students’ academic performance and enabling tutors to get more involved with the teachers. Tutoring will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 different time periods.

On-Campus Program: The On-Campus Program allows Penn students to tutor directly on Penn’s Campus at Civic House. Penn students interact directly with the families of West Philadelphia students. The On-Campus Program is a good option for students who cannot participate in the above subprograms due to their schedules. Tutors and tutees meet an average of one hour per week at Civic House.

WPTP Website

Upcoming News and Events:

Issues Based Workshops – Current State of Philly School District

April 15th, Monday, JMHH G65, 7-8 PM

April 16th, Tuesday, JMHH G60, 7-8 PM

April 17th, Wednesday, JMHH F85, 7-8 PM


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