Course Guidelines for Tutors and Class Attendees
U3A courses are run by members or by non-members. The person presenting a course may be called tutor, course leader, presenter, facilitator, or convenor.
There is no pay for delivering a course, but tutors' costs are recoverable from course fees; including venue rental, photocopying, equipment hire, consumables, and refreshments.
There are three types of offerings
- Series-session courses (a number of sessions on the same topic)
- Continuing courses (regular sessions with the same topic, e.g. dance, sport, languages)
Some things to consider about presenting and attending U3A courses
Within the U3A guidelines, tutors are autonomous. The tutor decides
- the topic, the time, and the place for each class,
- the minimum number required to conduct the course,
- the maximum number to accept, and
- whether to have a waiting list if the maximum number has been reached.
Tutors will be provided with the Course Leader Handbook, detailing procedures for preparing and running a course.
Classes can be held in various venues:
- Community organisation-owned premises
- Council-owned premises
- Restaurants/coffee shops with meeting facilities
- Private homes
To keep course attendance fees as low as possible, try to arrange inexpensive or free venues. The tutor decides the fee that needs to be collected to cover the total rent for the course period. Tutors need to be able to tell prospective students the likely fee before those students enrol.
If the venue is a private home, the host decides the house rules about parking, access, toilets, refreshments, etc.
During a two-hour session, take at least a 15-minute break. Shorter sessions might choose to open with refreshments. You can buy refreshments at some venues; otherwise, class members need to organise them, not the tutor.
Participate! Arrive early, prepared to help set up. Be prepared to stay late to help clean up. Offer to be the treasurer or do the refreshments. Actively participate; comment, discuss, encourage, and share. (But beware of taking over the class! Follow the lead of the tutor.)
The main task of the tutor is to prepare and present a course. Students are asked to set up the venue and pack up after. A U3A member in each course is needed to act as treasurer; to collect fees and record all money collected, to pay the venue costs, and to reimburse the tutor for any expenses.
Someone needs to volunteer as bookkeeper (or another volunteer) to record the details of all students, attendance, and fees paid in a Course Enrolment and Attendance Form. Give this form to the U3ATMI Secretary at the end of the course for our reporting obligations.
Members are asked to wear their name badges, showing a current membership card in the name badge plastic cover.
You must be a member of U3A to enrol in a course. Contact the tutor directly and enrol before the start date, so the tutor can tell whether there are sufficient numbers to conduct the course. Most courses have a date for the first day of enrolment.
Most courses will ask a fee to cover expenses. For courses of 10 weeks or less, the complete course fee is payable either in advance or on the first day of the course. For courses longer than 10 weeks, fees are payable every 10 weeks.
You are not enrolled until you have paid. Enrolling in a class is a commitment to pay the total fee, even if you don't attend all the sessions. Changes can often be negotiated, but it's the student's responsibility to pay.
Prospective students who are not members of U3A may attend two sessions of a course without first enrolling to determine whether or not the course is suitable for them.
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