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Academic Support Services Receives Certification

November 1, 2012

Averett's academic support services center and its tutor training program have received certification from the College Reading and Learning Association's (CRLA) – International Tutor Training Program. There are about 820 institutions world-wide that have achieved this distinction.

The approval from CRLA signifies that the work of academic support meets internationally recognized standards of quality, and tutors may now become CRLA certified para-professional tutors once they've completed their training.

"The certification was not a requirement for our program, nor is it a requirement for tutoring centers," said Holly Kilby '09, director of academic support. "It is however a coveted honor that we are proud to have achieved because of the prestige associated with CRLA's long, respected history. This 'tag' instills confidence and respect in our program and reinforces the tutors' self-worth.

"As well, this achievement will serve to attract highly motivated students interested in tutoring for our internationally recognized program. I am immensely proud of my tutors for their commitment to academic support as we've made many changes over the past few years. They've stayed with the program and made it stronger. We certainly still have room to grow, but we are at least on the right path."

The department began working toward certification in February 2011. There was a lot of back and forth as CRLA investigated the entire program, with an emphasis on tutor training. Kilby said that she made changes along the way to "revamp" services and to comply with CRLA guidelines.

While tutoring will not change, the tutoring program itself has, thanks in part to CRLA's guidance, which encourages "focus topics" for training and formal tutor evaluations.