In 2010, President Kim B. Clark created the BYU-Idaho Volunteer Connection resources to help students learn and have meaningful volunteer opportunities.

The departments give students a variety of opportunities to help them with their course materials. This is mainly done through the 13 drop-in labs, including:

— Anatomy & Physiology Drop-in Lab

— Biology Drop-in Lab

— Chemistry Drop-in Lab

— Physics Drop-in Lab

— Computing Drop-in Lab (CIT/CS)

— Engineering Drop-in Lab

— Voice Diction/Music Theory Drop-in Lab

— Chinese Conversation Lab

— English Conversation Lab

— French Conversation Lab

— German Conversation Lab

— Spanish Conversation Lab

— Russian Conversation Lab

The labs provide an opportunity for students to learn and progress.

Spring Semester 2024, volunteer tutors of Volunteer Connection of the Spanish Conversation Lab tutor students in Spanish.

Volunteer tutors of Volunteer Connection Spanish Conversation Lab. Photo credit: André Torrejón

The main office for Volunteer Connection is located on the third floor of the David O. McKay Library in room number 360.

The drop-in labs open on the ninth day of classes and close the week before the semester ends. All drop-in labs are free for students.

All the labs are located in the building that houses its department. Some labs are available in different buildings for student convenience. All labs are offered in person, but English and German offer an online option.

Volunteer Connection Center Director Spencer Taylor, manages the department. He is a former alumnus of Ricks College. He has had various career opportunities that have led him to where he is today.

Spencer Taylor, Center Director of Volunteer Connection shares his experience and testimony of working for BYU-Idaho and love for God.

Spencer Taylor, Center Director of Volunteer Connection. Photo credit: Gracie Romero

Because of his work, he has grown the department and allowed students to teach others and become disciple leaders.

“So we try and focus on courses that are in high demand across campus,” Taylor said. “We’re different from the Tutoring Center … students really like that they can just drop in for 10 minutes, or they can stay the full two hours. It is another resource for students to study, to learn from each other and to get help in their classes.”

Volunteer Connection gives students an opportunity to be volunteer tutors to help run the 13 drop-in labs on campus.

Volunteers must have at least a 3.0 GPA and are asked to give two hours of their time each week using different teaching strategies with students.

Volunteer tutors of Volunteer Connection of the Computing (CIT/CS) Drop-in Lab tutored students last year.

Volunteer tutors of Volunteer Connection of the Computing (CIT/CS) Drop-in Lab. Photo credit: André Torrejón

One paid position is the Area Director who oversees the entire department and works alongside Taylor.

The marketing team also helps advertise Volunteer Connection around campus to spread word of the departments to professors and students.

The last paid positions are in the 13 labs which have directors, coordinators and secretaries that work together to support volunteer tutors teach and grow.

Volunteer tutors of Volunteer Connection of the Physics Drop-in Lab tutored students this year.

Volunteer tutors of Volunteer Connection at the Physics Drop-in Lab. Photo credit: André Torrejón

“It’s a great experience … There’s so many resources that are part of Academic Success and Tutoring department, but tons of resources within Volunteer Connection to get help in your classes,” Taylor said. “If you ever feel like you need help, you shouldn’t ever feel like you’re alone and that there’s no one to help you because there’s a lot of peers, tutors and faculty who are willing to help. Come and get the help.”

Taylor shares his testimony of how his job has blessed his life.

“I know that every good thing that has come into my life is because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I love the Lord because He knows me. He is always there for me and wants what is best for me. There is nothing that is too hard for the Lord,” said Taylor. I get to work at a place that is different from the world. Is there a greater mission than to help develop disciples of Jesus Christ? I don’t think so. Regardless of our role on campus, we are blessed to work and learn at this special place.”

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