The Academic Success & Tutoring Center's peer tutor training program is internationally
recognized by the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA), allowing us to grant
our tutors Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 tutor certification.
On Thursday, May 7th, 2015, the Academic Success and Tutoring Center recognized forty-nine
peer tutors with Level One Certification through the College Reading and Learning
Association's International Tutor Training Program Certification (IITPC). These tutors
were the ASTC's first cohort to be awarded tutor certification.
On May 13, 2019 the ASTC recognized 68 peer tutors with CRLA certification. Since
2015, 363 certifications have been awarded.
About The CRLA International Tutor Training Program Certification (ITTPC)
Since March 1989, community college, college and university tutorial programs in the
United States and Canada have received tutor training program certification through
CRLA's International Tutor Training Program Certification (ITTPC). There are over
1100 programs which are currently certified through ITTPC.
The College Reading & Learning Association is a group of student-oriented professionals
active in the fields of reading, learning assistance, developmental education, tutoring,
and mentoring at the college/adult level.
The purpose of the ITTPC program is twofold. First, it provides recognition and positive
reinforcement for tutors' successful work from an international organization. Second,
CRLA's tutor certification process sets an internationally accepted standard of skills
and training for tutors.
Why does the ASTC train tutors?
The Academic Success and Tutoring Center (ASTC) requires peer tutors to participate
in a semester long training program, in accordance with the qualifications set forth
by the College Reading and Learning Association’s International Tutor Training Program
Certification. The ASTC training program focuses on the skills and knowledge that
are vital to becoming a successful tutor. By participating in the ASTC’s tutor training
program, a tutor can successfully communicate ideas and concepts, further the learning
process, and encourage critical thinking to a diverse group of learners with different
skills and abilities.
What do tutors learn during training?
Click on the headings to learn more about the training topic.
Level 1 Training Topics:
Goal: The ASTC strives to ensure that peer tutors have the knowledge necessary to
protect themselves against committing any type of violation of Stony Brook’s academic
integrity policy. Peer tutors are asked to review Stony Brook’s policy on academic
integrity prior to attending the training session. We review and discuss various situations
in which academic dishonesty could occur, including but not limited to, plagiarism,
working in groups, providing students with previous course materials, having inside
knowledge of course materials or exams, and completing any assignments for students.
To avoid these types of situations, tutors share different strategies and ideas such
as using practice problems, examples, or other materials to assist in reviewing concepts
with their tutees. Peer tutor outcome: Practice ethical and professional behavior
with tutees during a tutoring session
This training provides peer tutors with the skills and knowledge they need to learn
how to effectively communicate information to a wide variety of students with different
abilities and needs.
Peer tutor outcomes:
• Practice effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills when tutoring
• Demonstrate active listening and paraphrasing skills in the tutoring process in
order to increase understanding and enhance the tutoring experience
• Discuss the implications of multiculturalism in regards to communication, and how
tutors can be more effective when tutoring students whose native language is not English
• Understand the difference between closed-ended and open-ended questions and the
different types of responses that each of these questions will elicit
• Utilize probing questions during the tutoring sessions in an effort to gauge understanding,
promote critical thinking, identify relationships between concepts, and promote the
tutee’s ability to think independently
Goal: Tutors understand that the first step in the tutoring relationship is for the tutee
to establish goals, for not only the tutoring relationship, but for the class as well.
Setting goals assists the tutees in remaining motivated throughout the semester. During
this training, peer tutors learn to differentiate between weak and strong goals. Tutors
work through exercises, which allow them to practice making goals more realistic using
the SMART goal approach.
Peer tutor outcome: Assist tutees in planning and/or setting personal academic goals during a tutoring
In addition to individual tutoring, the Academic Success and Tutoring Center offers
small group tutoring. The groups are usually limited to between two and four students
to ensure that all students receive the appropriate amount of attention. During this
training, the ASTC tutors learn and practice different strategies and techniques for
working with several students at the same time. Group dynamics, communication techniques,
and discussion are all emphasized.
Peer tutor outcome: Practice effective group management skills to recognize and honor each member of the
group, control dominant group members, and ensure that each member of the group is
engaged in the learning process.
The goal of this training workshop is to allow the tutors to understand the process
of taking control of and evaluating one’s own learning and behavior and its role in
tutoring. The ultimate goal of the tutoring session is to provide the tutee with the
strategies and techniques so that they can learn and assimilate information independently.
Peer tutor outcome: Use and integrate self-regulated learning techniques during tutoring sessions in order
to enhance the learning of tutees.
Goal: During this training, we emphasize the importance of utilizing a strengths based approach
to tutoring. We discuss some of the barriers to student success, one of which may
be an undisclosed/disclosed learning disability. We talk about how students can avoid
placing the tutees in a potentially uncomfortable situation and stress a “think outside
the box” approach to working with all tutees, which can allow for optimal learning
during a tutoring session.
Peer tutor outcome: Appreciate the differences and needs of different populations of students and demonstrate
respect and sensitivity during tutoring sessions.
Goal: The ASTC shares with our tutors a vast repertoire of ways in which to support students
in their academic goals. We discuss ways in which mindset, level of motivation, and
thinking traps can affect a student's ability to achieve these goals.
Peer tutor outcome: Emphasize and integrate appropriate positive affirmations into tutoring sessions.
Goal: ASTC tutors are exposed to the different approaches and modalities to learning theory,
including Bloom’s Taxonomy. This training connects to the ASTC’s foundation for evaluation,
which incorporates Bloom’s Taxonomy into a learning spectrum, whereby our tutors are
able to evaluate a tutee’s level of understanding in regards to a specific concept
Peer tutor outcome: Utilize differentiated tutoring strategies to meet various needs of learners based
on learner strengths, background, and/or prior knowledge.
Goal: Once during each semester, the ASTC invites a Stony Brook faculty member to speak
with our tutors about what it takes to be a successful student and tutor.
Peer tutor outcome: The goal of this workshop is twofold: first, to educate tutors on faculty expecations
in and out of the classroom and second, to highlight strategies for tutors to assist
students in the learning process.
Level 2 Training Topics:
The tutor acts as a role model, demonstrating appropriate tutoring behaviors and strategies
such as timeliness, preparedness, asking probing questions, and successfully structuring
the tutoring sessions.
Goal: By first acknowledging the limitations of tutor capacity, the tutor’s role as a mentor
inherently becomes more restricted and exists with apparent limitations. This training
explains how tutors help tutees beyond that of course specific content, namely in
strategies and skills related to academic success. This examination of the tutor role
is done through the lens of the peer-to-peer relationship in an attempt to outline
the advantages and limitations. Such an examination leads into a discussion of boundaries,
for which there exists an activity for practice.
Goal: Offering guidance with study behaviors becomes an easier feat when tutors see themselves
as acting beyond sources of information. This training outlines the difference between
study skills and behaviors, then offers functional approaches through which tutors
can incorporate study behaviors into the tutoring conversation. The presentation of
material hinges on the idea of accountability; tutors should consider themselves in
a position to express to the tutee clear expectations of effortful study behaviors.
In order to do so in a tactful and professional manner, an activity is utilized where
tutors will be able to practice initiating and holding such a conversation.
Goal: This training is meant to put into perspective the ASTC tutoring philosophies related
to self-regulated learning and tutee empowerment. Its content establishes the need
for peer tutoring, its place in the learning process, and found evidence of its success.
This training illuminates the limited capacity of the tutor as a facilitator, as academic
success is contingent upon sufficient tutee agency. Moreover, it aims to help direct
tutors toward appropriate session goals and focuses.
Goal: This training serves to ensure that tutors are capable of promoting academic success
in a larger context than that of the subject material, namely through reference to
other academic and support services available on campus. Exercises within this activity
demand that tutors be able to identify the needs of a student in a particular scenario
and then appropriately refer that student to the proper resources.
Goal: This training teaches cultural awareness to illuminate individual responsibility and
accountability; tutors need exhibit self-awareness to overcome involuntary ethnocentric
interpretative responses. Cultural influence is examined within academic and social
Goal: This topic of this training is inherently geared more toward practice than theory.
Tutors are asked to confront difficult situations, some of which have actually occurred
in the past. In doing so, tutors will assess and improve their ability to respond
to and navigate through potentially uncomfortable scenarios that may challenge ASTC
policies. For this training, there exist no clear, correct answers. Instead, each
scenario tests tutors’ abilities to operate with professional judgment and demeanor.
This training focuses on barriers to remembering and strategies for enhancing memory.
It hinges upon the concept that sufficient understanding is one’s best tool in regard
to remembrance/recall. Several popular, effective mnemonic techniques are displayed,
and tutors will be asks to not only engage with these techniques, but also apply them
to their respective fields. Tutors are then asked to reflect on how the content within
this training can be incorporated into the tutoring session, both in regard to addressing
course specific content and initiating conversations about study skills/behaviors.
Level 3 Training Topics (Lead Tutor Program):
Lead tutors understand the applicability of positive affirmations, cultural awareness,
and tutoring strategies and appropriately incorporates best practices into their sessions.
Lead tutors are well versed in ASTC policies and procedures and can model appropriate
tutoring behaviors and professionalism.
The lead tutor can interact with non-traditional students effectively, using sensitivity
and with awareness of the specific needs of the target population. The lead tutor
uses these strategies to tailor tutoring sessions to any population with whom they
Lead tutors can use student development theory to support tutees’ academic growth.
The lead tutor can identify the needs of the tutee and modify their tutoring strategies
to meet the needs of the tutee.
Lead tutors effectively assist the ASTC staff with team creation and development.
Lead tutors participate in interviewing, leading, and mentoring peer tutors. The lead
tutor understands the difference between various leadership styles and how they affect
the work environment.
Lead tutors understands the policies and procedures of the ASTC and adheres to them.
The lead tutor is able to assist the ASTC staff with training and supervision of junior
Become A Tutor Today!
We are currently accepting applications for undergraduate students wishing to become
tutors for the Academic Success and Tutoring Center. Interested students should visit
ourBecome a Tutorpage.