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Lou Ann and lrnasst colleagues:

There can be several benefits to certification.  The first and foremost, as
originally intended by NADE, is to encourage program quality through  a
process self-evaluation.  The NADE Guides were developed initially for this
purpose and guides were published for tutor services, adjunct instruction
programs (SI) and developmental coursework.  The Guides reflect best
practices as found in literature and research in the field.  People conduct
program self-evaluation as a means of identifying the strengthts of their
programs and ways in which they can improve their programs.  The main goal
of program self evaluation is to encourage program quality in the
profession.

Program validation from an external source can also be a benefit in calling
the attention of our institutional administrators to the program excellence
right in their own backyard.  We have received reports from participants
that certfication has encouraged their programs to be included as key
players in decision-making processes that affect their program, a process
they were otherwise excluded from in the past.

Another benefit is that recommendations made regarding improvements that
could enhance the program can become convincing evidence for requesting
much needed rources from institutional administrators. There has already
been a few instances of this benefit.

The real impetus for initiating certification was from  feedback NADE
received from people who conducted program self studies just because they
were interested in doing so, or as part of an accrediation self-study, or
as a way of
evolving and further refining a newly created program.  The feedback was
that the experience was valuable and that they would like to receive some
kind of external validation of the outcomes of their evaluation process.
Thus, NADE began to explore program certification.

Another consideration is that as our field is under more pressure to
demonstrate accountability, it is imperative that we, as a profession, have
the opportunity to define and decide how to conduct this process rather
than have it imposed on us by forces outside of our profession.

Initially, NADE piloted a process that intended to certify entire learning
centers and developmental education programs.  However, we concluded very
quickly after the preliminary pilot that this was too difficult particulary
because there is such variation, as you pointed out, in our programs.
However, NADE did decide to pilot certification of program components for
which there are NADE Guides.  Thus, we just completed a two-year pilot
for certifying tutor services, adjunct instruction programs, and
developmental coursework and are now moving out of the pilot stage into
implementation of certification.

The NADE Certification Board is finalizing some policy and procedural
decisions.  This should be completed very soon.  At that time, full
information about NADE Certification will be posted on the NADE web page.

Hope this sheds some light.

Georgine Materniak
Director
University of Pittsburgh
Learning Skills Center
311 William Pitt Union
Pittsburgh, PA  15260
(412) 648-7920

--On Friday, April 28, 2000, 8:50 AM -0400 Lou Ann Sears <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:r

> Could anyone explain the real benefits of getting a tutoring program
> certified?  Are we talking about any learning center anywhere, just
> college learning centers?  I'm new to this listserv and don't know if all
> members are associated with colleges/universities as I am.
>
> When we say "learning center," I'm sure we are referring to very different
> places.  On my campus, for example, the Learning Resources Center houses
> the writing center, tutoring center, disability services, and study-skills
> center.
>
> Also, when I read through the e-mails, I often wonder what audience the
> sender has in mind: Would it be possible for senders to indicate the
> intended audience?  For example:
>                 This message is for anyone who works with disabled
>                 college students. This would help everyone quickly sort
> through the messages.
>
> Thanks for any information you can send.
>
> Lou Ann Sears
> UPG
> Greensburg, PA