|Volunteer Positions at Learning Centers|
Each Learning Center must have a lead coordinator. This person is the liaison among the Center, the sponsor and SeniorNet headquarters. He or she leads the Coordinating Council by presiding at meetings, setting agendas, maintaining financial records and recruiting chairpersons. The coordinator provides the “spark” that makes the Learning Center go and should be chosen by the volunteers with input from the sponsor.
The coordinator needs enthusiasm for SeniorNet along with organizational and leadership skills. (In some cases, the paid staff member assisting with the SeniorNet Center is the coordinator, but usually it is better to appoint a senior volunteer to this role.)
The Administration Coordinator provides the clerical support services necessary to run the Center including registering students for and assigning them to classes and maintaining a master calendar of classes, meetings and events. The coordinator also interacts with SeniorNet headquarters to ensure accurate membership and other records.
If your sponsoring agency provides you with organized help handling money, answering the phone and taking registrations, this job doesn't need to be a hard one. If not, this is a key position and will require lots of time and effort.
The Coordinator of Administration needs to be very organized, good with details and fairly adept at using computer word processing, spreadsheets and database applications.
The Education Coordinator recruits and supervises instructors, schedules classes, assigns instructors and coaches to classes and oversees the educational evaluation programs.
Ideally this person would have a background in education administration.
The Curriculum Coordinator works with the instructors to determine which curriculum will be taught based on the interest of the students, availability of the lab and the software installed in the lab. This person prints enough textbooks and copies enough disks for all the students, instructors and coaches in each class.
This person should have negotiation skills, an interest in researching Learning Center Course material, and a willingness to try new and varying courses.
The Membership Coordinator recruits volunteers, maintains the Center member and volunteer databases, and develops and maintains methods of communicating with members, such as telephone trees and newsletters.
Membership Coordinators must be enthusiastic and creative and have an understanding of database applications.
Instructors need to be patient and good at communicating ideas. They need to know how to accomplish tasks on the computer, but since many SeniorNet classes cover only basic computing skills, they don’t need to be experts. Instructors need a basic understanding of how to use a computer. They need to become familiar with the software they will be teaching. They should be organized people who are good at explaining things. They need to be comfortable speaking in front of a small group. A strong voice, patience, and a good sense of humor will help a lot.
Instructors help determine the curriculum and then teach classes ranging from the most basic to the advanced. They will “start at the beginning” with novices or craft their own courses about a topic of special interest.
Coaches assist an instructor during a class to help slower students keep up with the rest of the class. They may be other instructors or former students who are familiar with the material but is not yet ready to become instructors.
These people should want to learn more and enjoy helping others.
Lab monitors help maintain the lab schedule and document lab procedures, help or recruit someone to help students during open lab time and assist the Lab Manager in special projects.
Lab monitors should be comfortable with technology and want to keep up with new products. Technical writing skills are a plus.
The Social Chair works with the Membership Coordinator to organize events and activities for members, volunteers or the community.
This person should be people-oriented and willing to work with others on all the details for Center events.
Public Relations Coordinator
The Public Relations Coordinator ensures that Center activities get publicity in local media, keeps a file of publicity, coordinates publicity with the sponsoring organization, makes media contacts, provides speakers to groups as required and maintains a file of potential donors. This person prepares brochures and other promotional material for distribution.
You may find a member with PR or media experience, but someone with good writing skills, enthusiasm, organization and an outgoing nature will fill the bill just as well.
The Network Advocate helps keep the Center “connected” with the SeniorNet community by being an active participant Online, preparing and maintaining a Center web site, uploading Center information of special interest to the rest of SeniorNet and helping familiarize members with online through private tutoring, workshops or classes. The network advocate helps the Center manage its online time and serves as the “technical” expert for online use.
This is a member with some knowledge of or interest in using computer telecommunications who will be active on line.
The lab manager should be someone who understands hardware and software. They are responsible for the organization and maintenance of equipment, for recommending new equipment, new software and upgrades, for ensuring that all lab procedures (such as back-ups and virus scans) are documented and followed, and for recruiting, training and assigning lab assistants.
The Lab Manager should be comfortable with technology and like to keep up with new products. They must be willing to devote time to all the routine tasks needed for a smoothly functioning lab.
Archivist or Historian
The Archivist keeps a record of all Center-related activities and special events along with a current description of the Center, its members, its courses and other activities for use with community organizations, other Centers and SeniorNet staff.