April 22, 2014 – The Davidson County Community College Learning Commons recently received nationally recognized certifications for its Testing Center and Tutor Training program.
The Testing Center earned certification from the National College Testing Association (NCTA) by meeting national standards and guidelines for a professional testing center. The college’s tutoring program attained Level I certification from the College Reading and Language Association (CRLA) International Tutor Training Certification program in recognition of its commitment to quality tutoring that supports student success.
NCTA certification criteria are rigorous, and the Learning Commons initially submitted an application to determine if the center met the standards and guidelines to be considered, according to Elizabeth Kremer, Learning Commons director. Following application approval, the center submitted documentation including floor plans of testing center rooms, photos, policy and procedures manual and training manual to a NCTA mentor for review. An on-site evaluation was the final step before certification approval by NCTA board members.
“Providing our students with a quality and efficient testing environment that follows nationally recognized standards and guidelines helps them be successful,” Kremer says. “It gives students the best opportunity to demonstrate what they know, which could potentially improve their test results.”
The CRLA provides recognition and positive reinforcement for tutors' successful work from an international organization, and the tutor certification process sets an internationally accepted standard of skills and training for tutors.
Tutors employed by DCCC qualify for the certified training program once they have tutored 25 hours, Kremer notes. They complete six hours of face-to-face training on topics from communication skills to learning styles to critical thinking skills. In addition, tutors complete three online course modules. The college’s professional tutors also undergo peer observations to learn more about each tutoring area before being certified as Level 1 tutors.
“It was important for us to apply for the certification of our training program to ensure that we are training tutors to support students by providing them direct tutoring techniques to help them be successful in their coursework,” Kremer says.
The Learning Commons at DCCC opened in August 2011 in an effort to centralize academic support and testing services. The center provides free tutoring for students in math, business, computer technology, reading and writing, Spanish, chemistry, biology, nursing, EMS, study skills and testing taking strategies. In addition to the tutoring services the center provides a variety of academic support workshops. The Learning Commons also houses the Testing Center, which provides placement testing, testing for curriculum and pre-curriculum courses, special testing for academic programs, High School Equivalency testing, Certiport testing and WorkKeys testing for the Career Readiness Certificate.
*Editor’s Note: Pictured, from left, DCCC mathematics tutor Abi Hoffman works with student Candice Bobo in the DCCC Learning Commons.
Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is looking forward to serving students in Davidson and Davie counties for many years to come. The college is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at davidsonccc.edu.