Amarillo College offers free tutoring on all campuses.
By Ashley escobar
After a lengthy application process, Amarillo College receives recognition for its tutoring program through the internationally-acclaimed College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) certification.
Since 1989, over 1,000 college tutor training programs throughout the world have received CRLA certification at the various levels offered. As a result of this program, thousands of people have obtained recognition as certified tutors, advanced tutors or master tutors.
AC joined the growing number as their application received official approval from the CRLA board after a rigorous 4-6 months application process. “It’s just one more step toward being nationally-recognized in our work,” Erin Martin, Writers’ Corner supervisor, said.
As of now, the current path for either the peer or professional tutors begins with the standard letter of recommendation and interview process. However, going forward, while the same entrance procedure will essentially remain the same, the CRLA certification sets the stage for a change in the evaluation process.
“It has allowed us to improve and expand our tutoring training processes and really just be more effective in our roles,” Edythe Carter, dean of academic affairs, said.
A prioritization in the way tutors develop and grow their interpersonal relationships and skills will be essential in determining whether they will be the most suitable for this position.
“Our students, they’re not the students at Amarillo College, they are people outside in the world, they take all parts of themselves into who they are here and they take every part of Amarillo College outside within too,” Micah Prock, academic success supervisor, said. “Our students have so many different identities and things going on so we need to know how to best serve them holistically, and not just as student number, as a means for tuition or as any other thing. We need to see who they are as a well-rounded person.”
According to Prock, a large portion of the training is not only concerned with helping these students learn best but also with how tutors can help them utilize what students are learning outside of the classroom to their own lives. The tutoring centers are working on how to best assist these individuals whenever they come in times of crisis or need assistance with other matters.
“We are not only focused on helping students academically, but we are also focused on helping them in their professional lives and personal lives,” Prock said.
This certification offers a starting, advanced and master level of tutoring. Master levels are considered prestigious and allow the individual who has accomplished this level to perform at a supervisory level and in addition, lead the tutor training. In an academic setting, no matter what level a tutor may obtain, they are able to take those advancements with them anywhere for life, as they are internationally-recognized.
“We then become more and more trustworthy to our students and faculty, so we are just better able to train ourselves and increase our credibility,” Martin said.
Prock also mentioned that this level of accomplishment for the AC tutoring centers opens the service to new levels of networks and puts the institution on the map in terms of rankings on the international level. She used the U.S. Military Academy as an example to compare how important this accreditation means to Amarillo College.
“We know that we have developed the best training for our tutors and training that is going to abide by the same standards that a lot of other universities, schools and other prestigious institutions,” she said.