Ross to update tutoring center

Director of the tutoring center, Justin Ross, Ph.D., is planning to implement new projects to improve the tutoring center.

The short-term plan is to increase the value of the tutors, Ross said. The center will begin new training programs based on the Center for Reading and Language Arts (CRLA) international tutor training program. The CRLA has a training program where they award certifications to the tutors that meet their criteria.

This year, tutors will have at least five training sessions of 30 to 40 minutes throughout the year. Mercyhurst tutor training is already provided at the time the tutors are hired. Each tutor receives one hour of training, according to Ross.

Ross supervises the tutor training and the tutoring system. He spends a lot of time trying to put together the classes and the tutors so they are thoroughly trained.
The problem with this is that tutors who have been working for three or four years have not received any type of refreshment training. This year, all returning tutors will be introduced to the training sessions as given by the CRLA.

One problem that the tutoring center faces as of now is a lack of designated tutoring space.

“[Currently] it really is individual tutors meeting with students in groups or individually at the library,” said Ross. “One of our plans is to try to expand that and find some permanent space, somewhere that we can call the ‘tutoring center.’ That’s several years away, as we try to figure out where might that be, as we work with the library to see if there is any space that might become available.”

Ross said there are currently open positions for tutors. Any interested student with a B grade or higher can apply to be a tutor. Having a faculty recommendation is best practice, Ross said, but any student can apply online.

“We welcome them all,” he said.

He supervises all the administration of tutoring by helping students sign up at the library, securing places when necessary, and works with individual tutors and students if they are experience difficulty with the process.

Tutoring is a paid position of $7.25 an hour. Tutors can work up to 12 hours per week.

The tutoring center takes care of paying the tutors, making it completely free for the students. Students can request a tutor online through the portal.

“Tutoring helps you improve your content knowledge, but it also helps your confidence. A lot of people that get tutors, not just feel that they know the material better, but they feel better about being in the class,” said Ross. “The average grade of a student that saw tutoring last year was a B.”