Seven new recruits were sworn into the Syracuse University campus peace officer academy today by Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile. Cecile performed the swearing in of the academy recruits as an official welcome and endorsement of the joint law enforcement…
CLASS Assistant Director Co-Authors International Standards for Tutor Training to Help Students Succeed Even When They Doubt Themselves
Samantha Trumble began her career as a secondary school teacher seeking to help her students overcome their fear of the subject she loved most–mathematics. Trumble never imagined that she would draw on this experience, years later, to conquer her own fear of writing and co-author a new set of international standards for tutor training.
But that’s exactly what happened. “Just like my former students, I realized that my lack of confidence was holding me back from developing my writing skills,” Trumble says. “All of us can succeed in subjects we dislike or fear. The key is putting your doubts aside and trying new strategies to learn the material.”
Often, the best way to do this is with help from others who can sympathize and support you. Trumble knows this first hand. As as assistant director of Syracuse University’s Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS), she oversees the talented undergraduate and graduates students the center hires and trains to become peer tutors and coaches.
“High-quality training standards are the key to high-quality tutoring and other peer-based academic support,” Trumble says. “Co-authoring new standards for our international professional organization required me to do a lot of writing. Writing has never been a subject I enjoyed or felt confident in, but I realized this was an opportunity to improve my writing skills while helping CLASS and learning centers at other universities strengthen their tutor training programs.”
Like many university-level student success programs, CLASS obtains tutor and other peer educator certification from the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), a membership organization for professionals in the fields of learning assistance, tutoring and academic support at the college level. Trumble became active in CRLA after returning to her home in Central New York in 2017 to accept a position with CLASS.
CLASS has an advantage in meeting CRLA standards, as Trumble co-wrote the Standards, Outcomes and Assessments document for CRLA’s International Tutor Training Program Certification. The certification is given to tutor training programs at colleges and universities, giving the programs the authority to recognize their tutors as having acquired an internationally accepted standard of skills and training for tutors. Currently there are more than 1,100 certified programs around the world and the certification has been endorsed by top educational organizations.
As the person who supervises and mentors peer tutors and educators at Syracuse University, Trumble sees the benefits of the international standard, which is used as a best practice in training CLASS tutors and other peer educators. “Tutors learn strategies that are course-specific, since we offer small-group tutoring for many of the most challenging classes that first- and second-year students take. Peer educators serve as academic coaches and provide broader advice to students including research-based study strategies, time management and active study strategies,” she says.
“Many of our tutors and coaches have used CLASS services. They’re empathetic because they have struggled and overcome challenges to their own academic performance,” she says. “Once they go through training and begin working with other students, they learn skills that they can apply to their future jobs or graduate programs. And the opportunity to gain international certification is a great resume booster.”
Trumble acknowledges that co-authoring the new edition of the standards for CRLA was a lot of work, but sees the program as truly beneficial to students working with CLASS. “I keep in touch with many of them after graduation, and they often tell me that particular skills they learned during their training are useful in their professional positions,” she says
“I love to mentor our student employees. It is rewarding to see them succeed and hear their feedback and appreciation for what they have learned,” she says.