Rasmussen College campuses in Fort Myers, Rockford, Brooklyn Park and Aurora-to name a few-have begun conducting “pinning” ceremonies for students who
complete the tutor excellence program and certification.
The ceremony includes a 30-minute presentation on the importance of certification and is attended by a representative from each department on campus. Recipients are given the opportunity to share their tutoring experiences and encouraged to invite family and friends to support their pinning.
The college decided in late 2013 to make certification a requirement for any student wishing to become a tutor at any of its 24 campuses. The tutor program is certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA)—an organization that services colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.
“The certification will really help the tutors if they decide to pursue any career where they will be training other employees,” said Amanda Elwell, Fort Myers campus learning center coordinator. “[Students] will have teaching experience from the small and large group teaching instructions they provide, and tutoring gives them the confidence to speak in front of others.”
Elwell noted the added bonuses of students being able to include an internationally-recognized certification on their resumes.
CRLA certification also improves the tutor’s ability to work with diverse groups and helps provide them with stronger critical thinking skills. In addition, tutors are qualified to teach students to make the most of digital content and the host of resources that come with it.
“The training really allows our tutors to be as effective as possible in providing instruction and learning assistance to students and faculty,” Elwell said. “So far it’s the best method of onboarding for a tutor.”
Tutors must take several steps to become fully certified, which, for tutors that are full-time students, could take as long as six months. Tasks include:
- Taking the 4-week Tutor Excellence Course, which was designed by each campus’ Learning and Library Center coordinators. The course is part of the college’s Angel platform, which is generally for online students.
- Submitting papers, replying to discussion posts, participating in live professional development webinars and completing a project by the end of the course.
- Completing a minimum of 25 hours of face-to-face tutoring time with students.
- Being evaluated by their respective LLC coordinator or supervisor. Tutors must also complete a self-evaluation.
“The beauty of the program is they can complete it at their own pace,” Elwell said.
For students seeking tutoring help, they can feel confident that they will be treated with the utmost respect and have any special needs considered. CRLA certification prepares tutors to identify and adjust to varying styles of learning.
For campuses, the pinning ceremonies are opportunities to showcase the good work student tutors are doing every day.
“It’s an achievement for a campus to show how much work their tutors have put into their own personal and professional development, and it sets the standard for the tutors to shoot for achieving licensure and accreditation in the future,” Elwell said.
Are you interested in becoming a tutor on your campus? If so, reach out to your Learning and Library Center coordinator or visit our Tutor Excellence webpage.