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MSU-WP tutor training program recertified by CRLA


Missouri State University-West Plains’ tutor training program in the Grizzly Tutoring Lab has been recertified by the internationally-recognized College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).

The certification means that area residents who successfully complete the tutor training program will be recognized internationally as certified tutors, university officials said.

“We are thrilled to receive recertification for the highest number of tutor training levels allowed by the CRLA for our program,” said Cindy Bridges, director of advising and academic support. “Each time you apply for recertification, you must show your tutor training program meets the high standards set by the CRLA. I’m very pleased with the effort our math specialist, Thora Broyles, and our writing specialist, Alexandra Graham, put into the recertification process. They did a tremendous job compiling the materials needed to show our program met the CRLA standards.”

More about the CRLA

The CRLA is an international group of student-oriented professionals active in the fields of reading, learning assistance, developmental education and tutorial services at the collegiate/adult level, according to its website, CRLA.net.  Its most vital function and overall purpose is to provide a forum for the interchange of idea, methods and information to improve student learning and to facilitate the professional growth of its members.

Since March 1989, over 1,000 college and university tutorial programs in the United States and Canada have received tutor training certification through CRLA’s International Tutor Program Certification, which is designed to recognize and provide positive reinforcement to tutors and to set a standard of skills and training for tutors, according to the website.

MSU-WP received initial certification of its tutor training program in 2003. The program has been recertified during every subsequent review period since then.

“Officials with the Grizzly Tutoring Lab have worked hard to develop a tutor training program that continues to meet the CRLA’s rigorous standards and have successfully completed the International Tutor Training Program Certification peer review process,” CRLA officials said in a news release announcing the Grizzly Tutoring Lab’s recertification.

“Achieving certification means that the Grizzly Tutoring Lab has met CRLA’s high standards for tutor selection, training, direct service and evaluation as an integral part of their overall tutoring program,” CRLA officials explained.

How tutors are certified

The CRLA certifies tutor training programs to issue CRLA certificates to individual tutors at three levels – regular, advanced and master – based on the amount of training the tutor receives.

To receive the regular tutor certification, tutors must complete a minimum 10 hours of tutor training in such areas as basic tutoring guidelines, techniques for successfully beginning and ending a tutoring session, communication skills, study skills, critical thinking skills and modeling problem solving, as well as 25 hours of actual tutoring from a certified program such as the Grizzly Tutoring Lab’s.

To obtain certification at the advance level, tutors must complete another 10 hours of training and 25 hours of tutoring; certification at the master level requires yet another 10 hours of training and 25 hours of tutoring students.

“Getting this certification is not easy,” said Graham, who compiled information for the recertification effort. “It requires proof of assessment, proof of training and proof of quality services rendered.

“Additionally, CRLA has revised its tutor training topics to meet current needs in the academic success realm, which meant Thora and I revamped our curriculum to meet a higher standard, particularly in regard to training Master Tutors looking to obtain jobs elsewhere in this field,” Graham said.

“Certifying our program this way means that current tutors are even better prepared to use their skills at other colleges and businesses and start at a higher pay rate,” she continued. “Certification demonstrates the tutors completed a robust training program and moreover, the students who come to the tutors at MSU-WP are getting high quality help to become the best students they can be.”

Bridges noted that one comment about the program from a CRLA reviewer stood out to her. “They said, ‘the training program is rigorous, but this allows you to fully know that your tutors are prepared to handle their jobs no matter what the situation.’ This adds even more assurance that students utilizing our tutoring services are truly receiving quality assistance to help them succeed in their studies.”

For more information about the tutor training program or the Grizzly Tutoring Lab and its services, contact the MSU-WP Office of Advising and Academic Support at 417-255-7222.