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Tutoring program earns international certification

DATE: 03-19-2013

Cayuga Community College’s peer tutoring program has earned the highest level of International Tutor Training Program Certification by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), one of only a handful of SUNY community colleges that has obtained this level of tutor certification. The CRLA certification indicates that the tutor program meets a rigorous set of standards and that the training program covers a range of topics to ensure that Cayuga’s student tutors are ready to serve the diverse body of student learners at the College.

Last fall, Cayuga Community College student tutors on the Auburn Campus delivered 5,193 hours of help to their peers through individual and group tutoring and study sessions. The tutors not only assist these students with their academic questions, they are knowledgeable about the range of services offered by the College’s Center for Academic Success and can refer struggling students to other support services.

“Peer tutoring is so important that it warrants certification,” said Coordinator of Tutorial Services and Tutor Club Advisor Teresa Hoercher. “We need to have peer tutors fully informed and knowledgeable about process.  The reality is – students will ask tutors just about anything and the tutors need to be armed with an answer. The tutor training program guides them to bring a sense of empathy to their tutoring, and to bring positive energy along with suggestions and strategies. They do such good work, and I’m very proud of them.”

The CRLA certification applies to the tutoring programs at both campuses, although the Fulton Campus program has a Level 1 designation, and the Auburn Campus has a Level 3 designation, which requires more hours of training and tutoring experience. The College offers three courses for student tutors, which provides the framework for instruction and training.

“Our tutors benefit from the program in so many ways,” Hoercher said. “It provides them with a part-time job, allows them to develop greater knowledge in their subject area, connect with faculty, forge new friendships with students, and build stronger communication skills and confidence.”

Hoercher said she expects the tutoring program to continuously find new ways to support students. Initiatives are being developed to provide more integrated and coordinated tutorial support to the College’s development and online students.

In the most recent SUNY community college student survey, Cayuga ranked No. 1 in student satisfaction with tutoring services.

“I am grateful for the College support and the time I have been given to develop a strong tutoring program that has national certification, policy requiring all peer tutors to take a 1-credit class, and work study funding for the tutors,” Hoercher said. “More than a dozen neighboring colleges have visited our center to review our layout and tutor training program. I am proud to work in a wonderful institution with outstanding faculty that support students and applaud tutors.”

For more information CRLA certification, visit www.crla.net.

For more information on Cayuga’s tutoring program, visit http://www.cayuga-cc.edu/academics/center_for_academic_success/tutor.php.