Welcome! I'm going to respond using the system I developed in my last position as a university director. Our program is CRLA Levels I, II, and III certified and earned some fantastic results over the years.
I'm a huge fan of a multi-modal approach that includes content testing for core subject areas such as math, English, physics, and chemistry.
Before we hit the interview, I want to see:
- a 3.4 or higher cumulative GPA
- a consistent record of successful learning with an A- or higher in at least two courses in the subject (We accepted a high B for Organic Chemistry II with faculty approval.)
- a letter of reference from two faculty for core subjects or one from each of two faculty for non-core disciplines that can be one per discipline if they want to support multiple
- a thoughtful and reasonably well proofread and articulate cover letter and resume, as well as a good job filling out our standard application and availability form
Students who are invited to interview used to talk with me first, but we found that so many of them failed the content questions that it was a waste of my time. For students who are supporting core courses, they answer a series of questions
from fundamentals through sophomore-level courses. They are able to earn partial credit, and our assessors, who are professional tutors who typically have taught at the University, are clear in their assessments when the student made one error and set off
a chain reaction as a result. In other words, they determine if the student followed the right process even if one or two answers are off.
Students who score in about the 90th percentile or higher proceed right to the interview. Students who do not then meet with their assessor to walk through their answers. If they're close to the score we want and the assessor realizes that the
applicant quickly caught their own error and ran with it, we move them forward. If not, and their responses are promising, they are given a week or two to study and review key elements that the assessor recommends before retesting. Part of the meeting with
the assessor also allows them to play out a bit of a mock tutoring session with the applicant to see how well they are able to explain the material.
Our interview consists of an explanation and overview of the services we offer, how we function as a department with an emphasis on the metacognitive approach, how we focus on concepts and processes without specifically talking about assigned
problems, and then gives the candidate the opportunity to sell him or herself if they see themselves as a good fit at that point. The last hour is a series of sample scenarios they may encounter on the job and how they would deal with them.
I do strongly support content testing for core subjects. The reality is that, in my experience, the majority of students and some professionals cannot pass them coming in even if they did well in the class. Being able to earn a good grade by
studying material currently in front of you is not the same as proving that you've retained and are able to apply that information a year or two or even three later. For professionals, they may have aced the class years ago as a student but not taught that
particular course and need to brush up.
Insofar as tutors for non core courses, I am much more inclined to rely on faculty recommendations because these are typically majors or minors where the student has worked with the same faculty member term after term and the faculty member
has often observed how that student interacts with their peers and an ability to provide assistance. It's unusual for me to hire somebody as a tutor in a major or minor unless they've completed at least three semesters at the institution, which has given them
the opportunity to come to know faculty pretty well.
English/writing tutors, incidentally, need to review a timed essay written by a student, make notes, prioritize areas of weakness, and then conduct a mock tutoring session that allows me to see that they are not proofreading or editing for the
student but able to help the student identify and learn to independently correct their weaknesses and guide the student through developing their own ideas and learning how to document.
Our foci are on creating independence in the learning process and helping the students understand and develop approaches to learning the material that are optimal to them. I know what I'm describing is a long and detailed process, but it generally
yields excellent staff who are not only prepared for but often excited about beginning CRLA Level I training when they join us.
Debbie Malewicki, M.A.
Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions, LLC
Email: [log in to unmask]
Cell: (475) 238-5635
Office: (203) 800-4100
I am brand new to this listserv, so I apologize if this question has already been asked. I'm also very new to my position with tutoring services, so I'm hoping for some input regarding a request we've recently had from
one of the academic colleges on our campus. They have requested that we work with instructors of courses to create a comprehensive content-specific quiz for each course that potential tutors would need to pass before being hired as a tutor for that course.
Our current hiring requirements are that the student must have earned an A or B in the course (taken at our university) and must have an overall 3.0 GPA or better. I am wondering if anyone else screens applicants using a content-specific quiz. If so, I'd be
interested to know the logistics of how you make that work. If not, I'd be interested in knowing what requirements you are using to determine if the applicant has a high enough level of content-specific knowledge.
Again, I'm new so I'm not even sure how replying to this message works, so I'll include my email: [log in to unmask]
Thank you for your time and consideration!
Interim Managing Director
Academic Achievement Center Tutoring Services
Kansas State University
103 Holtz Hall | 785-532-5703
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