CRLA is an acronym for the College Reading and Learning Association. Founded in 1966 as the Western College Reading Association, the organization grew and evolved into the modern CRLA - an group interested in tutoring, mentoring, and student learning that spans the US and Canada.
All peer tutors who work in the Learning Commons are required to complete our tutor training program, which is certified by the CRLA. Tutors who complete the training are eligible for CRLA Tutor Level 1 Certification.
Peer tutors work one-on-one with students, offering academic support and expertise in an informal setting. Some tutors are generalists focusing on braod skills (such as writing) or disciplines (such as math), while others specialize in certain courses or groups of courses (such as AC/DC circuits or AutoCAD). Some tutors see students on a drop-in basis in the Learning Commons, or in other departments, while others may see students by appointment.
For students struggling with their course work, peer tutors are an important resource because they can offer individual help that is not possible in the classroom setting. Students can also often identify more easily with their peers, who can explain concepts from the student perspective.
At the end of each semester, faculty members are asked to recommend any students who they feel have the academic skills, maturity, and enthusiasm for learning that is required of a successful peer tutor. If the student is interested in becoming a tutor, he/she completes a peer tutor application. Learning Commons professional staff then reviews the application, the student's academic record, the faculty recommendation, and conducts an interview with the student. If all requirements have been met, the students move on to the hiring process.
All peer tutors who work in the Learning Commons are required to complete a 10 hour tutor training program, which is certified by CRLA.