South Piedmont Earns Internationally Recognized Certification for Tutoring Services

Director of Learning Supports Marsha Thomas, left, and Coordinator of Academic Support Marian Teachey with the certificate confirming South Piedmont Community College has achieved College Reading and Learning Association certification.

South Piedmont Community College’s tutoring program has earned an internationally recognized certification that signals it meets high standards for tutor selection, training, service, and evaluation. 

“We’ve invested in our Academic Support Center to ensure we’re following best practices in serving our students. I’m incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication our employees have demonstrated in pursuit of this certification. Congratulations to all involved,” said Associate Vice President of Student Success Dr. Kamisha Kirby. 

South Piedmont’s Academic Support Center has earned Level 1 certification from the internationally recognized College Reading and Learning Association. For more than 30 years CRLA has been a leader in learning assistance, reading, and academic support programs, with almost 1,300 members and over 2,000 certified training programs worldwide.

The certification is proof that South Piedmont has developed a tutor training program that meets CRLA’s rigorous standards and has successfully completed the International Tutor Training Program Certification (ITTPC) peer review process. Achieving certification means that South Piedmont has met CRLA’s high standards for tutor selection, training, direct service, and evaluation. 

Among the steps South Piedmont took in pursuit of the certification: 

  • Created a full-time director of learning supports position to oversee the Academic Support Center and its services. Marsha Thomas currently serves as director of learning supports.
  • Instituted a reporting process to improve communication between tutors and instructors, thereby enhancing the instruction students receive both in the classroom and in the tutoring center.
  • Increased and improved the trainings provided to tutors.
  • Instituted hiring guidelines to ensure tutors have the necessary academic and/or professional background to tutor in a particular course or subject area.   

As the fall semester gets underway at South Piedmont on Aug. 14, Academic Support Center Coordinator Marian Teachey said students should take the CRLA certification as assurance that if they need help in any of their classes, they will receive the highest quality tutoring services. 

“Research has proven that students who attend tutoring sessions with trained tutors perform better academically than those who attend tutoring with untrained tutors. Students also become more confident as a learner by working with tutors who provide a student-centered learning experience. I believe students also feel they have a partner on their academic journey to provide appropriate support needed to start strong and finish stronger,” she said. 

“We’re very proud to have earned this certification and for all we did to improve tutoring services for our students.”

Teachey recognized the tutors who have earned CRLA certification: Vera Bradsher, Virginia Carter, Todd Hamilton, Brenda McDonald, Taylor Ross, and Daniel Steinberg. Tutor Andrew Lundeen came on board after the certification process started and is currently working toward the certification.

For more information on the Academic Support Center, including hours and to make an appointment, visit https://spcc.edu/student-resources/academic-support-center/.


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