International certification available to Marietta tutors

Keira Hambrick tutoring students

Academic Support Coordinator Keira Hambrick knows the Tutoring Program at Marietta College has grown by leaps and bounds over the course of the past 12 months.

Last fall, services were extended to include subject-specific tutoring in Rickey 370, which was renovated to better serve the needs of students and their tutors. Just a few days ago, the Academic Resource Center broke the news the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) has recognized Marietta’s Tutoring Program with International Tutor Training Program Certification (Level I and Level II), which is endorsed by the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations, the National Association for Developmental Education, and Commission XVI of the American College Personnel Association.

“It is a tremendous achievement for Marietta’s Academic Resource Center to have its tutor training program certified through CRLA,” said ARC Director Amanda Haney-Cech. “This certification assures a high level of quality and standardization for our peer tutoring staff, and provides a strong sense of the professionalism of the program. Being able to list this accomplishment on a résumé will speak to the training and development that the Learning Consultant has experienced … While tutoring has always been a strong suit for the ARC, this elevates and recognizes the services. Keira is to be commended for all of her hard work and dedication to the extensive process.”

Hambrick said the CRLA recognition allows the College’s Tutoring Program to award certificates to tutoring staff who complete the training required to achieve Level I (Certified) and Level II (Advanced) status. Tutors working in the Writing Center (Thomas 221) and the Tutoring & Learning Center (Rickey 370) can earn certification after completing 12 hours of training and 25 hours of actual tutoring for each level. The certificate never expires and is transferrable to any institution that is also CRLA-affiliated. Training experience helps improve the trainee’s communication skills, cultural sensitivity, study skills, leadership ability, awareness of and sensitivity to different learning styles, and an array of tutoring techniques.

Currently, there are about 70 students who tutor for the College. English and Creative Writing major Marissa Merriman ’17 is a tutor in the Writing Center and plans to earn a certification.

“I have been keeping track of my hours — and Keira should have an official 25 hours of tutoring recorded for me from last year — but in addition to this year, I have completed an estimated total of 50 hours of writing tutoring,” Merriman said. “I’m really excited about the fact that the certification never expires because I see it as very beneficial to me in the future.”

Becoming recognized as a CRLA-endorsed institution takes a full year to accomplish and includes a lengthy application process and submission of all tutoring program documentation.

“I had to describe, document, and show proof of everything from how we recruit students to be tutors, how we hire them, our training, and our supervision/evaluation process,” Hambrick said. “I submitted about 200 pages of documentation to them. Our program is able to grant certificates from Jan. 5, 2016, until Jan. 5, 2017. In October of 2016, I’ll have to submit a renewal application. When that is approved, we’re good for three years, and then our next renewal will be good for five years at a time. Although we’ll have to reapply periodically to keep our program certified, the certification we bestow upon our staff will never expire.”

Hambrick said the College’s Tutoring Program benefitted from the CRLA application process, as it was an opportunity to look at the tutoring services being provided on campus, and evaluate how those services could be improved.

By earning this endorsement, Marietta College joins the ranks of only 1,150 other programs worldwide.

“As our program grows over time, I know that we will continue to reflect upon and enhance our services. One of the things the CRLA admired about our program was our network of partnerships with faculty, staff, and other campus units,” Hambrick said. “I am very grateful for those partnerships and what they bring to our work. I am looking forward to pinning our first group of certified tutors this spring. They all work incredibly hard and I am very excited to have this opportunity to acknowledge their accomplishments.”

YuXi “Zoe” Zhou ’16 is excited about earning the certification and is well on her way to achieving that goal. The Chemistry major has been tutoring chemistry for three semesters and has tutored mathematics in the past, though she stopped tutoring that subject because so few students sought help for it.

“As I know, this certification does not expire and can be recognized by the schools which also are involved in the same program,” Zhou said. “I enjoy helping others and I think this certification is also an honor for me to show my contribution.”