The Student Development Center (SDC) at Walla Walla University offers peer tutoring to all currently enrolled students across multiple academic disciplines, including math, science, languages, and writing. The SDC earned national certification in June 2021, through the College Reading and Learning Association, and can now award student tutors, who complete the required tutor training program, with Level 1 Peer Tutor certification.
Heidi Roberts, SDC coordinator, during the process of certification for the SDC, submitted multiple documents and forms. These included a history of the SDC’s tutoring program, in depth records of tutor hours, training plans, and hiring and evaluation processes. The Association provided benchmarks that the tutor training program must achieve, in order to be certified. Roberts was responsible for structuring the entire tutor training program and preparing all necessary materials, including syllabi, detailed lesson plans, evaluation forms, log sheets, etc. These were necessary to prove that the SDC’s tutoring services are up to industry standard and academic excellence.
Currently, 18 WWU Peer Tutors have received the certification, and new tutors will be given the opportunity to complete the training as they work at the SDC. The training, which is designed to be completed over the course of a school year, focuses on a uniformity of service between tutors and across disciplines and a national level of professionalism. Peer tutors are expected to already be experts in their subject area; the training focuses on connecting students with resources, identifying students at risk, strategies for conducting useful and concise tutoring sessions, and proper tutoring methodology.
Roberts said, “This certification will improve the experience for students coming in for tutoring by giving them a more uniform experience, increased professionalism, and tutors knowing what they are doing. We take the role of peer tutor very seriously and strive to offer top quality support.”
She added, “My excitement about this achievement of certification comes from the ability to celebrate tutors. They really are the silent heroes behind students. I’m glad to get to acknowledge their hard work and their dedication to the job. They really are changing lives, and seeing these tutors get some overdue recognition is my greatest reward.”
To learn more about the SDC and the services offered, visit wallawalla.edu/SDC.
Posted Sept. 9, 2021