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Please excuse me taking a moment to address the folks from the ACTLA/ATP 2015 Conference:  I have received about 50 requests for copies of our presentations on building a successful learning center before the funding is in place and increasing utilization levels and want to apologize for the delay.  (Thank you for your interest, by the way!)  My left arm has been in a splint and then arm brace since shortly after returning, and I'm catching up on oodles of emails now.  Several people wrote in with questions with their requests, so I'm updating the PPTs to address many of the answers.  I'll be sending you the presentations in a week or two.  Thanks for your patience.

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In response to this thread:

We use an online scheduling and reporting software and consider each timeframe for each student as contributing toward the tutor's contact hours, e.g., the tutor works with one student for 30 minutes, two others for 15 minutes, and one for 45 minutes all in the same hour = 1 hr. and 45 minutes toward contact time.  (We open tutors in most of our areas to both group appointments and walk-in visits simultaneously up to the cap to which the tutor has agreed.)



That much being said, we did the paper and pen approach, which was then transcribed into MS Access, prior to purchasing our first scheduling and reporting software five years ago and found it time-consuming but ultimately worthwhile because it gave us the basic statistical evidence to support requests for additional funding for more staffing, a larger space, and extended hours.  As an added bonus, the tutors love hearing about how many tutoring hours they've supported at our CRLA certification ceremonies and when they win an outstanding staff award.  (I also distribute written breakdowns at our preterm meetings, including what percentage of their time goes to a particular course and percentage of time utilized in relation to worked, as a way to reflect on the prior term/year and set goals for the coming term.  We look for trends and brainstorm how we can increase attendance for a particular course or better distribute students between tutors when there are backlogs, for example.)



I'll admit that it really hurt to give up the staffing time in this pursuit, particularly because we were so badly understaffed at that point, but it was worthwhile in the long run.

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As far as reassessing the CRLA certification process, I would say to streamline the application, eliminating redundant sections.  Providing an example online would also be a helpful step, although I understand that it poses the risk of people copying and pasting vs. creating new documents/internal materials.  I'd also suggest two years between the approval of each level and the first reassessment vs. one.  The forms take so long to complete that you're starting six months after you receive the certification to try to make the new deadline with the requested months of turnaround time.  Intersessions are when most of us can spare time to work on projects, so if it's less than a year, it's not realistically going to happen for many people.  I know that the reviewers are flexible and are working hard, which we've appreciated at many points.  I'd also suggest less stringent time requirements and durations for prospective reviewers to allow more people to volunteer, which would help clear the backlog.



Seriously, thank you for ALL that you and the other folks reviewing the applications do!  It's an incredibly demanding job that I don't think many of us in the field say often enough how much we appreciate.



Sincerely,



Debbie Malewicki, MA

Director, Center for Learning Resources

Director, Peer Tutoring Program

Safe Zone Ally

116 Marvin K. Peterson Library

University of New Haven -- "A Leader in Experiential Education"

300 Boston Post Road

West Haven, CT  06516

Phone:  (203) 932-7415

Fax:  (203) 931-6013

E-mail:  [log in to unmask]



"Tutoring to Help You Blossom Into a Better Student”



Thought of the day:  “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”  By Vincent van Gogh







-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Hayes
Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 11:59 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: How do you track tutor contact hours?



My apologies, I inadvertently deleted part of a sentence in my second paragraph, which made it sound confusing. It should have read:



We were told that our tutors needed to log contact hours in the walk in centers, and when we explained that our centers often get very crowded and our outnumbered tutors struggle to meet the demand, *we were told that we had no alternative but to find a way. After several times writing back and forth, I decided that we were* not going to make their jobs any more difficult by asking them to carry a notepad around the room with them to log each interaction. As you write, some contacts last for a long spell, but others a few minutes or less. The only reason for keeping the log was to submit it for certification, frankly - it wasn't going to improve the quality of service, and it was going to add an extra responsibility to the tutors' workload.



Thanks



David



David B Hayes

Director, Academic Enhancement Center

University College for Academic Success

University Of Rhode Island





On Wed, May 27, 2015 at 11:47 AM, David Hayes <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:



> Hi Roberta,

>

> We ran into this very problem with our walk in tutoring programs when

> we submitted for re-certification a couple of years ago, and after

> weeks worth of work was spent assembling the package, we ultimately

> withdrew from the process because we didn't want to alter our practice

> in order to meet this requirement.

>

>  We were told that our tutors needed to log contact hours in the walk

> in centers, and when we explained that our centers often get very

> crowded and our outnumbered tutors struggle to meet the demand, we

> were not going to make their jobs any more difficult by asking them to

> carry a notepad around the room with them to log each interaction. As

> you write, some last for a long spell, but others a few minutes or

> less. The only reason for keeping the log was to submit it for

> certification, frankly - it wasn't going to improve the quality of

> service, and it was going to add an extra responsibility to the tutors' workload.

>

> About 7 or 8 years ago, I did a presentation at the CRLA national

> conference outlining our training processes and telling the story of

> how difficult it was to bring the process into alignment with

> application requirements because we used a more "authentic" approach

> which attempted to make the in-service portion of the training

> sessions more responsive to emerging needs of tutors in practice. We

> knew that we were covering all of the aspects of training in a deep

> and meaningful way each semester, and spent more than enough time on

> them. But we couldn't honestly account for how many hours we spet on

> each individual topic. We had to estimate, and frankly I was very

> uncomfortable with that. After the session, several people assured me that they too did not provide accurate numbers.

>

> Needless to say I was disappointed years later at having to argue the

> point about logging time. It was a frustrating argument in which I

> felt my needs were not being heard, and ultimately that I was being

> asked to do something that as director I felt would compromise the

> quality of my programs. This time, rather than be dishonest, I decided

> it wasn't worth it. It was disappointing, because the certification is

> a nice thing for people to include under the tutoring job on a resume.

>

> I hope that you are considering a comprehensive review of your

> requirements. I know they aren't intended to compel programs to move

> away from pedagogically sound practices, they aren't intended to be

> burdensome, and they aren't intended to compel administrators to be

> dishonest. In my experience, however, that's what happened. Twice.

>

> Respectfully, David Hayes

>

> On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Roberta Schotka <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:

>

>> Hi All,

>>

>>  CRLA's International Tutor Training Program Certification group is

>> looking at various tutoring models to see where we may want to update

>> our certification requirements.

>>

>>  One area that interests us is how programs that conduct

>> predominantly "group", "drop in" or"homework help" type of

>> environments track tutor and tutee interactions. I am particularly

>> curious about those tutoring environments where one or more tutors

>> circulate a room and may in fact help multiple people for anywhere

>> from a few minutes to a half hour or more.

>>

>>  If this sounds like you- can you tell me how your tutors are logging

>> their contacts? Does the tutor complete a log sheet or report for

>> every interaction? Do tutors keep a record of tutee's served? Does

>> the tutee sign anything to verify the time spent with the tutor?

>>

>>  Thanks in advance,

>>

>>  Roberta

>>

>>   Roberta Schotka

>>  Director of Programs

>>  Pforzheimer Learning & Teaching Center  Wellesley College

>> Wellesley, MA  CRLA-ITTPC Coordinator  [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

>>

>>

>>

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>

>

> --

> David B Hayes

> Director, Academic Enhancement Center

> University College for Academic Success University Of Rhode Island

>

>

>



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