Troy University’s tutoring program was certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).
Elaine Clark Bassett, coordinator of Writing Center/Instructional Support Services, said having the writing center and its tutors certified has been a goal since the beginning of her career at Troy.
“I have been with the Writing Center for 22 years now, and this is something that I have wanted to do since I first began in the Writing Center,” Bassett said. “As there is no accrediting source for the Writing Center as a whole, I thought certifying the program would be the next best thing. This way we will have certified tutors who work for us.”
The certification will last from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016, and the complete certification process was about six months long.
Bassett began the process by doing a self-study of the writing center. She examined the selection and evaluation process of tutors, checked what kind of assistance the writing center provided to students and studied the training process of the tutors.
The study was about 100 pages and had a number of supporting documents giving evidence to what the writing center does for the university.
The documents were then submitted to CRLA, and the group’s committee decided to provide the first-level certification to the writing center’s tutoring program.
“They (CRLA) decided we do have a good program,” Bassett said. “They gave us good results, comments and certified us. They have very high standards of selection and performance, and what we do here has been recognized by an important body as being one that’s effective.”
Bassett said that the Writing Center will go through the process again next year to recertify.
“As we already meet the qualifications for mid-level, next year we will apply for a higher level of certification,” Bassett said.
The tutors of the Writing Center are also certified by CRLA.
“They (the tutors) are smart,” Bassett said. “They work well with other people. They are very well-educated in techniques of tutoring, and they are just an exceptional group. Having them certified just reinforces how good they are.”
Christina Wood, an English graduate student from Wicksburg, who has been working as a tutor in the center, said that helping students was a rewarding job, and she was glad to be certified as a tutor.
“It feels really good when students come in, and you are able to help them in their problem areas fix the errors they came in with,” Wood said. “It feels good to teach people how to become better writers, and being certified as tutors helps us become more credible.”
Bassett said that the certification will further show the capabilities of the tutors.
“While it does not change anything we do here, it really ensures the rest of the university and students that the tutors here know what they are doing,” Bassett said. “So this certification proves that we are doing the best we can do for the students, and it’s nice that someone else recognizes it.”