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Peer Tutoring Program Receives Advanced Certification

Paige Roberts
Graduate Assistant, Office of University Marketing & Communications

The Office of Learning Services, located in Borders Hall, helps Mount students flourish throughout their college journey. The team of dedicated staff is committed to the academic success of students in need of disability support services or peer tutoring. The Peer Tutoring Program recently received level 1 recertification through the College Reading and Learning Association’s International Tutor Training Program Certification (CRLA, ITTPC) as well as a new advanced certification for level 2.

kristin.jpgThe result of years of tireless efforts by Associate Director of Learning and Success Kristin Sites, the level 2 certification offered by ITTPC provides added credibility to the program. Peer tutors that undergo the extra training necessary to receive the advanced certification are better equipped to support their tutees and are also “able to grow and develop themselves as learners and leaders,” said Sites.

Sites constructed the additional training and evaluation processes for peer tutors, which includes 10 hours of supplemental training, a further 25 hours of contact with tutees and a new evaluation process, mirroring the requirements for level 1 certification. After a few years of organizing multiple training opportunities, a group of tutors met the level 2 requirements and became certified last fall. Sites then completed the lengthy application for level 2 certification of the program in January, which “focuses on metacognitive and psychosocial requirements for tutoring,” according to CRLA.

A handful of reliable students were especially helpful in reaching certification eligibility. Sites gives credit to the Head Tutor Program, a leadership opportunity within the Peer Tutoring Program established during the 2018-19 academic year that consists of four returning tutors who aid in facilitating the trainings and communicating with the group of peer tutors. Stressing the importance of the legwork done by the head tutors in this process, Sites affirmed “the head tutors have assisted me with creating and presenting some of the training sessions, which has really helped me to be able to run enough training sessions to reach Level 2.” While in her undergraduate studies at Muhlenberg College, Sites participated in a similar program, which eventually inspired her to bring the head tutor opportunity to the Mount’s Learning Services assemblage.

The inaugural Head Tutors were Melissa Cole, C’19, Taylor Remsburg, C’19, Jasmine Guerrero, C’20, and Marie Dickson, C’20. Since that time, the following students have served as Head Tutors: Dominic Aeschlimann, C’21, Scott Korte, C’20, Nick Dinunzio, C’21, Connor McMahon, C ’22, Thomas de Xavier, C’21, Julie Rowe, C’23, Barbara Hawes, C’22, and Catherine Guy, C’22.

The summer months brought correspondence between Sites and CRLA application reviewers through which she participated in various trainings and received valuable feedback on the Peer Tutoring Program. After the application was approved in mid-August, Sites saw all of their diligent efforts pay off. “I believe that those peer tutors who reach Level 2 have gained a whole collection of strategies and experiences to improve their work as peer tutors,” said Sites. Not only does the credential contribute to the success of their tutees, but also to the future success of the tutor whose advanced accreditation is highly valued in a variety of job fields.

Dedicated to the continued success of the Peer Tutoring Program, Sites is not stopping there. “Honestly, it became a goal for me to reach Level 2 almost as soon as I had finished earning Level 1. There are actually three levels of certification for Peer Tutoring programs within the CRLA, and I would eventually love to earn all three,” Sites said.

Paige Roberts
Graduate Assistant, Office of University Marketing & Communications