Tutor Certification by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) provides a wide variety of benefits. While meeting the requirement for international certification, the department ensures that this tutoring program provides highly motivated tutors who have received a minimum of ten hours of training each semester. It also allows tutors to receive recognition and positive reinforcement for their efforts from an international organization, CRLA. Further, the certification helps set the standard for the minimum skills and training a tutor needs to successfully make a difference.
All new tutors undergo a full day of familiarization with college and departmental policies/procedures as well as a general overview of the campus and tutoring areas to which they are assigned. In addition, new tutors are required to read the Tutor Handbook and Center-specific manual and take a short quiz pertaining to that reading. At the beginning of each semester an eight (8) hour training day is held. This day is broken up into different sessions dealing with various tutoring related topics conducted by experts in the field, appropriate faculty, Master Tutors, the Academic Resource Specialists and/or the Manager. It is also required that tutors take part in a two hour training session every month. The monthly sessions consist of actual workshops where different tutoring issues are discussed and/or the tutors respond in writing to pertinent materials provided for them. The training often consists of customer service, verbal/non-verbal communication, and listening skills. Not only are guest presenters brought in, but tutors take part in the actual role-playing of difficult situations tutors have encountered in the past. Further, the tutors are required to view a series of videos on different aspects of tutoring. Of course, every effort is made to ensure that Math tutors receive special workshops by college math faculty in relation to situations they encounter in their tutoring.
CRLA certifies programs, not individual tutors. In other words, CRLA certifies that a particular tutor training program is qualified to issue CRLA certificates to individual tutors at a certain level or levels. The responsibility for tracking an individual tutor's training, tutoring hours, etc. and issuing certificates when a tutor qualifies lies with the tutoring program certified. Each program must keep records for each of its certified tutors that is subject to review by CRLA if the need arises.