UIC Writing Center’s tutor-training program achieves certification
The UIC Writing Center’s peer tutor-training program has been recognized as a Level I certified tutor-training program by the College Reading and Learning Association.
The online.is internationally recognized as the gold standard for peer-tutoring and mentorship programs.
“Achieving certification not only means that the UIC Writing Center has met CRLA ITTPC’s high standards for tutor selection, training, direct service and evaluation, but also that certified tutors are a part of a larger network of peer educators who are recognized as receiving real training recognized by a prestigious program as achieving excellence,” said Charitianne Williams, senior lecturer in English and assistant director of the UIC Writing Center.
UIC’s program allows UIC students to support their peers with writing projects across all disciplines. The certification ensures that tutor training is completed with high standards and helps writers feel confident about the support they will receive when visiting the center.
“UIC staff tutors have always been providing excellent service to the UIC community, and we are beyond excited to be able to offer tutors this important recognition of the work they do every day,” Williams said.
Ashley Xiong, a third-year student in psychology, said she tutors about five peers per week.
“A lot of writers that come in don’t realize we are also students,” she said. “When they come here, I feel the communication is easier and you can form a better bond with them.”
Xiong said she occasionally tutors students in topics she isn’t familiar with, such as mechanical engineering, but sometimes her inexperience helps.
“Professors really like when students come in because they want to make sure their papers are easily understood by individuals that might not be familiar with that topic, so it’s a really good learning experience for myself and the writer,” she said.
Students interested in becoming a tutor must complete English 161 or the equivalent with an A or B before registering for English 222, the first step in becoming a certified tutor. After English 222, students may apply for a paid position, and those who successfully complete one semester as a paid or volunteer tutor are certified.
“When training to be a staff tutor, we really focused on anti-oppressive pedagogy, which helps us communicate with our writers, especially our international students,” Xiong said. “We don’t want to inherently be racist or biased, so I really appreciated that content being taught to improve communication between tutors and their writers.”
After the course, if students are hired as staff tutors, their professional development opportunities continue. With several ongoing training opportunities for staff, as well as a 400-level course that focuses on research and administration, they also have an active alumni network.
Schedule an appointment with the Writing Center online.