Campus Community

Ensuring Student Success

Written by Mike Thee

August 12, 2019

McGoldrick at Night

Image credit: Yosef Kalinko

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The excellence of Seattle University’s tutoring and study group programs has received additional recognition with a Level III certification from the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). 

“CRLA certification acknowledges the high caliber of our program’s professional development offerings and requirements for serving as a student employee with us,” says Angie Jenkins, director of Learning Assistance Programs. 

Part of Learning Assistance Programs, Tutoring and Study Group Services typically employs between 70 and 85 student tutors/facilitators each quarter. Their impact is substantial. “In 2018-2019, we served more than 1,500 students, providing almost 16,000 sessions ranging from 30 to 90 minutes each,” says Jenkins. “In any given year, we typically serve around 20 to 25 percent of the undergraduate population. We have drop-in and matched weekly tutoring sessions and facilitated study groups in the general subject areas of math, nursing, science, business and languages.” 

SU tutors and facilitators undergo rigorous training each quarter. “The extent and depth of their participation in ongoing trainings to expand and hone their skills translates to a higher quality of tutoring and study group sessions to the SU campus community,” says Jenkins. “The program also provides professional development opportunities to our student staff in both experience and resume building.” 

“About half of our 11 peer institutions haven’t yet achieved any CRLA certification,” says Joelle Pretty, director of Student Academic Services. “The dedication of our Learning Assistance Programs staff to pursue this level of excellence demonstrates the importance that Seattle University places on our student engagement and learning.” 

In granting this level of certification to SU, the CRLA noted the university’s strength in partnerships and collaborations with other programs to enhance training. The certification is in effect for three years at which time the university can apply for Stage 3 certification.

Looking ahead to future possibilities, Jenkins says one thing she is hoping for is to have CRLA certification appear on students' transcripts. “We think it would be a wonderful clear acknowledgement of their hard work."

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