The Teaching and Learning Center at Haywood Community College is creating a real community of teaching and learning through its peer tutoring program. Beginning in early 2009, HCC became certified to train tutors through the College Reading and Learning Association, a nationally recognized learning organization. As a result, HCC student and community volunteer tutors can now become certified tutors, trained to effectively and appropriately provide tutoring services according to nationally accepted guidelines.

In Fall 2009, the HCC TLC began training a new “crop” of tutors. To be certified, these tutors must complete ten hours of training and an additional 25 hours of tutoring. The process is made up of three face-to-face training sessions, which include a variety of speakers and topics, as well as an online session, which employs Moodle, an online course management system, as the training medium.

Currently the HCC TLC employees 48 student tutors and receives the additional assistance of four community volunteer tutors. All tutors who work in the TLC have the opportunity to receive tutor training, even the community volunteers, some of whom are retired instructors. The training includes information about the special needs of adult learners, the legalities of tutoring, learning styles, available tutoring resources, and much more. Therefore, at the end of tutor training, the tutor is uniquely skilled in tutoring at a college campus.

Besides the assistance that community volunteers and our peer tutors provide, Haywood Community College’s Foundation, led by director Meg White, provides the means to make this tutoring program possible and successful. The foundation offers mini-grants for important programs on campus that are not funded through state funds. The TLC tutor training program is one of the happy recipients of these mini-grants.

The Teaching and Learning Center is always looking for qualified tutors. Students are carefully screened before being accepted as tutors; these students must be recommended by faculty and must have previously performed in an exemplary fashion in the courses for which they tutor. Community tutors also must have proven experience in the areas for which they tutor. The rewards for being a student tutor or a community volunteer are great. Student tutors are paid an hourly wage, receive free training, and have experience that is a wonderful addition to their resumes. In addition, these students are keeping their skills fresh, even reinforcing skills that they will need in future educational endeavors. Both community volunteers and student tutors share the primary benefit of tutoring – the satisfaction of supporting the learning of a college student and the knowledge that they are strengthening the community in which they live.

For more information about Haywood Community College’s tutoring program or to volunteer, call 627-4696 or 627-4688.