The Shepherd University Writing Tutor Program, part of the Academic Support Center (ASC), was recently reaccredited by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), a national organization that provides professional development for college professionals active in college tutoring programs.
The program is reaccredited every five years. By following CRLA training standards, Shepherd’s Academic Support Center has set itself apart from most tutoring programs.
According to T.C. Williams, writing specialist for the Writing Tutor Program, the certification is a résumé builder for tutors.
“For us it means we have a prestigious program, and it sets us apart from other programs in the nation,” Williams said. “It puts us in the minority to have a CLRA-certified program and is a résumé builder that accredits them as a CLRA tutor, signifying they’ve had additional training.”
Emily Gross, director of academic support, said that she is trying to develop the CLRA training on a larger scale for other areas of the ASC and is using the writing program as a model.
Tutors must complete English 377, peer tutoring, and composition theory, to be considered an applicant. An extension of their training includes tutoring hours and tutor meetings once a month which has mini training sessions.
“Currently, 14 writing tutors are actively working on their certification,” Gross said.
Williams also coordinates the Stretch English program, a model of developmental English adopted nationwide, which allows the English 101 course to be stretched over two semesters instead of one and gives students more time to digest material and a smaller class size. Some tutors from the writing program work with the Stretch classes and will conduct writing labs in the classroom.
This semester, the Writing Center has an influx of tutors available for students who need assistance with their papers. In addition to working with the Stretch English classes, Writing Program tutors are also available for walk-in appointments, and also for ShepOwl, an online paper review service offered by the Writing Program.
The Writing Program will be up for accreditation again in 2016.