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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chipola’s Ace Tutors Earn National Certification

Student tutors in Chipola College’s Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) have been certified by the College Reading and Learning Association.
CRLA is an association of over 1,200 postsecondary learning assistance colleagues. These include: tutor trainers; faculty; learning center administrators; developmental educators; and other academic support professionals. CRLA offers International Tutor Program Certification (ITPC) and International Mentor Program Certification (IMPC) which provide resources and support for tutor trainers and mentor trainers.
Chipola’s (ACE) is a full-service lab designed to help students succeed in their college courses. ACE offers individual tutoring, test-prep sessions for specific courses, study group organization, study skills development and high-speed computers with course software.
ACE now provides Chipola Supplemental Instruction (CSI) for students in high risk courses. These regularly scheduled sessions offer clarification of concepts and assist students in developing the proper skills for success in class. Test reviews also are part of the services provided at ACE.
Chipola faculty members, Bonnie Smith, Academic Center for Excellence Coordinator/Honors Advisor and reading instructor Angie Tyler coordinate the ACE lab.
ACE employs a staff of 16–20 students in the Fall and Spring semesters. Tutors are paid through a federal Title III grant. Tutors complete a training session prior to beginning work in the lab and participate in ongoing training sessions during the year. After all CRLA criteria are met, students receive level I CRLA certification.
Marshall Hilton, a student tutor, says, "It’s an easy-going place to work. You get to help a lot of people and learn a lot. If you can explain something to someone else, you really learn it."
Returning student Maryann Alexander, says, "I wouldn’t be passing math without ACE? I haven’t had a math course since 1986. These guys have been wonderful. I’ve gone from thinking I was going to fail to an "A" in algebra."
Tutors also work closely with Chipola faculty to ensure proper communication of course content. Several of Chipola’s faculty members also meet some of their regularly scheduled office hours in the ACE. Chipola Honors Program students and Phi Theta Kappa members also volunteer in the ACE.
A total of 658 students visited ACE during the 2007-08 school year. In the fall, the ACE averaged almost 300 visits per week and up to 450 visits during final exam week.
The ACE is located in Literature/Language (Z) during renovation of Building L. Fall and Spring semester hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Title III team members include: Gail Hartzog, Project Director; Dr. Cherry Ward, QEP/ Title III Facilitator; Vicki Mathis, Project Assistant; and Bonnie Smith, ACE Coordinator. Six Chipola faculty members serve on advisory committee for the ACE: Lee Shook, Rachel West, Janice Holley, Gena Porter-Lankist, Daniel Powell and Cherry Ward.

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