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College Reading and Learning Association Conference 2014 Recap

This past week, Carol Scott and I (Hannah Bergren), flew to St. Paul, Minnesota to attend the 2014 College Reading and Learning Association’s annual conference. The CRLA group is the program through which we choose to earn our tutor training certification. The TECHniques Center is currently a certified level 3 tutoring center, which means our tutors can earn the highest certification of tutoring as well. The point of this conference is to stay up to date with rules, certification processes, and connect with other programs to learn more about training our tutors and helping our students.

Each day consists of several general sessions led by speakers and experts in areas such as meta-cognitive learning, learning center management, and emerging technologies in the learning center arena. We also have the ability to pick between 8-10 different concurrent sessions in four different time slots. Carol and I also led a session titled “Building Your Ship: Creating a Positive Workplace Environment for Tutors”. We had a packed room which led to the sharing of ideas on practical ways that learning centers could be encouraging and engaging towards their student workers. We had great feedback and were grateful to have several people come up to us personally throughout the conference to tell us how much they loved our session. This was my first conference presentation, so I was happy to hear good things.

We learned many new things and have a host of ideas we will be running through our minds over the next few weeks and months. One important thing I took away from this conference was our ability to possibly start including rubric style guidelines for our tutors to understand best practices and expectations of the TECHniques Center. Carol says the ideas of how, when, and why to include online trainings for tutors that are unable to attend tutor training, or may need refreshers on certain elemnts of said training, may be her biggest take away. We will be discussing these and other ideas with the academic counselors. Overall, we had a great experience this past week and we’re grateful for the opportunities Tech provides for us to continue our learning and make us better at our jobs!

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