Tutoring Center looking to keep alumni in touch

The Tutoring Center is now reaching beyond helping the College’s students. An upcoming alumni chapter will allow both graduates and current students to build upon post-graduate experiences and stay connected.

Diane Gruenberg, coordinator of the Humanities and Social Sciences Tutoring Services and advisor of College Development and Alumni Affairs, had the idea for an alumni chapter.

“I first thought of it about three years ago simply because I missed the tutors and was eager to hear from them,” Gruenberg said.

Gruenberg decided to invite tutoring alumni to the College for a “Life after Tutoring” conference, which focused on how graduates used their experiences from the center to their benefit in graduate school or the job market.

Sandra Carroll, director of Alumni Affairs, suggested the Tutoring Center start an alumni chapter. However, the center supervisors lacked the manpower to create such a project until recently.

Kelly Sheperd, senior psychology and sociology major, and Donna Green, senior English major, are pioneering the alumni chapter as they pursue their master tutor certification.

This process involves getting certification through the College Reading and Learning Association, 30 hours of training, 75 hours of tutoring, an endorsement from a supervisor and a completed project. Gruenberg suggested beginning an alumni chapter as their project.

“Having a Tutoring Center alumni chapter will benefit the center because it will open the lines of communication among graduates as well as between the graduates and those who are still in college,” Green said.

“The main goal I would like to see the alumni chapter achieving would be to provide a network of people with shared experiences,” Sheperd said.

Green and Sheperd have been generating interest for the chapter by contacting graduates and, with the help of Carroll, began an online alumni community for the Tutoring Center.

“Although the project is still in its beginning phases, there is a great deal of interest from the tutor center graduates,” Green said.

In order to finalize the creation of an alumni chapter, there must be a mission statement, statement of goals to be achieved over three years, at least one event planned for each semester and six charter alumni members, Sheperd said.

The first planned luncheon for alumni was cancelled due to last month’s snowstorm, but alumni events will be rescheduled for the end of March or early April, Gruenberg said. She also said the mission statement will be written by the senior tutors and afterward will be e-mailed to alumni for their input.

Gruenberg has already received numerous lengthy e-mails from graduates expressing their gratitude from what life experiences they gathered while working as a tutor and their desire to stay connected with the center.

“I think the tutoring community is a great one and it does somewhat remind me of the community that I have with the students here at my office,” Divya Prasad, graduate student and practitioner of juvenile justice, said.

The prospected events to be planned in the spring and throughout the next year include luncheons, social gatherings, panel discussions and a reception on homecoming weekend.

Gruenberg hopes that other groups on campus will follow suit and strengthen College and alumni relations by beginning alumni chapters. She thinks it will also enhance the experience tutors have at the Center.

“The Tutoring Center will give me more of a sense of purpose and connection to the College once I graduate,” Sheperd said. “As a senior in my last semester, I am in the transition between college student and alum and I am pleased to see that there will still be a place for me at the College next year.”