Rasmussen College Peer Leader Program Awarded International Mentor Training Program Certification by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA)
Peer Leaders offers students 'fewer clicks, more immediate results' for holistic online support
MINNEAPOLIS (March 3, 2016)–Rasmussen College, a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation, is proud to announce its student mentorship program, Peer Leaders, has earned International Mentor Training Program Certification (IMTPC). The certification, which is awarded by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), recognizes peer-assisted programs that are research-based and strategically implemented to give postsecondary students the support they need to be successful. Rasmussen College specifically uses technology to offer support beyond what traditional academic tutoring can provide — especially in an online classroom environment.
“Many of our students are adult learners and may be anxious about coming back to school and taking a course online,” said Jon Mladic, associate dean of Learning Services at Rasmussen College. “With Peer Leaders, they have someone one click away who knows what it’s like to be a new student.”
Rasmussen College is one of only 61 colleges internationally that has achieved IMTPC accreditation. The mentorship program grew out of the College’s tutoring program, which was certified by the CRLA in 2013 with a goal to connect adult learners with classroom resources in real time. It quickly evolved into a space where students sought more holistic support. Today, peer leaders operate in a chat room environment and provide guidance that ranges from answering questions about course curriculum to supplying general advice and motivation. More than 400 Rasmussen College students have requested a peer leader since the mentorship program first launched in October 2014.
“When we first launched the program, two of our certified tutors who happened to be adult learners did what was intuitive to them—they started building relationships and motivating students beyond academic work,” explained Mladic. “And the usage exploded.”
Becoming a certified student mentor is a rigorous undertaking. To become certified, tutors complete at least 25 hours of tutoring and 10 hours of training. Once certified, tutors can become a peer leader and, after completing an additional five hours of training and 25 hours of mentoring, they become eligible to be certified as a mentor. Mladic believes the incentive for tutors to become certified mentors will keep students engaged in providing peer support in and out of the classroom.
Melody Ware, a Rasmussen College student in Lewisville, Texas, who serves as a peer leader, says she enjoys being an ongoing resource for her classmates.
“I love the students who come back in to the Peer Leaders room on multiple occasions,” she said. “It is rewarding to know if you are doing your job correctly, students will come back for your help.”
Rasmussen College plans to add additional mentors to its Peer Leaders program and expects the needs of students will determine how the program develops in the future.
To learn more about the student support services at Rasmussen College, please visit http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-experience/.
ABOUT RASMUSSEN COLLEGE:
Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation that is dedicated to changing lives through career-focused educational programs and public service. Rasmussen College offers certificate and diploma programs through associate’s and bachelor’s degrees online and across its 23 Midwest and Florida campuses in a supportive, student-centered and career-focused environment. Since 1900, Rasmussen College has been dedicated to being a primary contributor to the growth and development of the communities it serves. As a Public Benefit Corporation, Rasmussen College is committed to helping change lives through education and making a positive impact on society through public service and a variety of community-based initiatives. For more information about Rasmussen College, please visit www.Rasmussen.edu.
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