When I first started working with tutors I was told that training never works
because the tutors can't find the time (or whatever) to come to training
sessions.  And it was a bit of a struggle to create the expectation that
regular training would be part of the job of being a tutor.  Here is my
solution, which works in almost all cases.

When I hire tutors and we work out how many hours per week they are going to
work, I show them the days and times that I hold training sessions.  I run
about 4 sessions per week at various times, repeating the topic for that
week.  I ask the tutors which one they are going to sign up for.  It becomes
part of their work schedule, just like all the other hours they work in the
center.  It is printed on their appointment card as "Tutor Training," and it
is not an option for them to decide to tutor that hour instead of going to
training.  If they happen to miss their session, of course they may attend
one of the other ones that week.

Certainly some tutors miss a few.  They are working to earn CRLA
certificates, however, and they usually do want to get all the required
topics and hours. Usually there will be one or two tutors who really do have
classes at all my scheduled times.  Considering that we have about 65 tutors,
that's not too bad. (What do I do with them?  Well, I handle it on an
individual basis.  If it is a new tutor for a subject I can't get anybody
else for, I might meet individually with him or her a few times and require
him/her to  view our videotapes.  If it is an experienced tutor who already
has had lots of training, I probably will "excuse" him or her.  If it is a
new hire in a subject I can easily get a tutor for, I might not hire him/her
until the next semester.  It depends:))

Presented this way, the training is not viewed as "extra" or unnecessary.  It
is part of the tutor position.  We do make quite a big deal of the CRLA
certificates that tutors earn.

The benefits of trained tutors far outweigh the difficulty of scheduling it!

Linda Russell

Tutor Coordinator
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Minneapolis, MN