July 28, 2015

Professional Training in Academic Coaching Now Available to Counselors, Coaches and Learning Support Professionals

by Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning

Effective and affordable online courses geared to counselors, learning support specialists and academic advisors are now available in an expanded series from Crossroads of Learning, a distance learning training company based in La Cañada-Flintridge, CA.

The online Academic Coaching course provides educational professionals an affordable and convenient opportunity to engage in structured and validated training. Each learner is paired one-on-one with an expert mentor to facilitate progress through the college level curriculum. The course is self-paced, to accommodate the flexible schedules of education professionals. Using research-based learning modalities, all Crossroads of Learning courses are all designed to be highly reflective and include spaced repetition and simulations which in turn stimulates learning, understanding, retention and application of the subjects covered.

Elizabeth Gonzales, a recent Crossroads course participant from North Florida Community College wrote “this course brought clarification about the difference between tutoring services and academic coaching services.” Academic coaching is a highly personalized field of practice. The course is designed to help each participant examine and fine tune their own philosophy and practice of academic coaching relevant to the unique temperament, skills, training and experience of each learner.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Crossroads of Learning,Training/Education

June 22, 2015

Crossroads of Learning and Fielding Graduate University Expand Their Collaboration via Pro Bono Coaching Program

by Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning

Participants in the last two semester cohorts of the Evidence Based Coaching (EBC) program at Fielding Graduate University have recently provided up to 8 hours of pro bono coaching to qualified graduates of Crossroads of Learning courses. Fielding graduate students and alumni provided personal coaching services to fulfill requirements of their academic courses and/or International Coaching Federation certification. By engaging in individual online coaching sessions, qualified Crossroads graduates had an opportunity to review and explore their own professional development and career goals. Participants in the coaching process are rooted in the belief of an individual’s capacity for change and a desire for a transformative learning experience.

When Kathy Tiner of the Fielding School of Education was first approached in 2006 to collaborate with Crossroads of Learning on the world’s first online professional development course for tutors, she jumped at the opportunity. She shared the vision of how professional and volunteer tutors can significantly impact student success at all levels of education, but even more so when they received quality training. She said “by supporting the professional development of tutors, we will be making a real difference in the education of our children across the country.” Successful completion of the course also qualifies students to register for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) provided by Fielding Graduate University.

Eight years later, over 1,000 learning support specialists have enrolled in the online courses, including Tutoring Foundations, Academic Coaching and Train-the-Trainer programs. The curriculum has also been adapted to a workbook format for use by graduates of the Trainer program. Now, the graduates of the advanced courses have access to another high quality online professional development option.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Coaching,Crossroads of Learning

January 31, 2014

Academic Support Leaders in the News

by Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning

Our team at Crossroads of Learning is now in its seventh year of pioneering andragogical innovation, quality curriculum and multi-modal professional training for tutors and academic coaches, both private practice and within academic learning and writing centers.  In the final weeks of 2013, we interviewed recent course graduates and program coordinators from participating organizations from around the world.  Here are some highlights from training grads, learning/writing center managers, academic coaches and training staff.  They represent the wide spectrum of organizations served last year, including schools, tutoring companies and community agencies involved in academic success programs.

Public/Private Collaboration in Detroit

Husani Webb, 16, a junior at East English Village Prep Academy, left, tutors Louis McMillan, 12, a seventh-grader at Clark Elementary School in Detroit. Lear Corporation has created a tutoring program at 2 DPS schools that goes so much farther. The company donated a semi-truck full of furniture, fixed the school's air conditioning, bought every teacher a computer, bought a new computer lab worth of computers and paid for tutor training that is being provided by the high school students who are getting paid to tutor younger students. ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Lear Corporation/Detroit Public Schools peer tutor training and student development program is now enjoying its second year at East English Village Preparatory Academy in Detroit Michigan.  Since the launch of the leadership program, 122 high school students have received the Tutoring Foundations, Basic training and are now working as peer tutors as part of their elective leadership class.  These young scholars are providing one-on-one tutoring to neighboring middle school and elementary age students at Clark Preparatory Academy.  Caitlin Theisen, one of the National Tutoring Association (NTA) certified trainers and graduate of the Crossroads of Learning Train-the-Trainer program, shared that “having the Tutoring Foundations course book added authority to the tutor training process because it’s not just us saying this is how tutoring works…it’s backed up with research and statistics.”  In addition to tutor training and NTA certification, the high school tutors receive supplemental instruction in math and personal finance.  To see an article on the program, visit tinyurl.com/a7zal9x.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Crossroads of Learning

July 27, 2013

Being friendly: Building an effective tutor-student relationship

by Nalini Lasiewicz, Crossroads of Learning

Academic advisers at the Canadian Student Leadership Association (CSLA) note that students are more motivated to learn — and learn more — when they like the teacher.  By practicing techniques of friendliness, learning specialists can be most effective in their roles, whether as a peer tutor, a volunteer mentor or a manager of academic learning center, writing center, or tutorial service. There is, however, a difference between being friendly and trying to be a friend.  Tutors need not confuse the two.

When working with students to improve their comprehension and understanding, CSLA recommends these friendly and respectful behaviors:

  • Act as an equal — Avoid appearing superior or snobbish.
  • Be dynamic — Students appreciate someone who is active and enthusiastic.
  • Create a learning environment — Choose a location and a situation that makes learning fun, interesting and entertaining.
  • Be comfortable — Be at ease with yourself.
  • Concede some control — Allow the student to lead and pursue knowledge.
  • Show interest — Be interested in what they have to say and remember their likes, hobbies and interests.
  • Be optimistic — Convey a positive outlook. This will be contagious.

The attitude of friendliness is a step above basic etiquette.  Experienced tutors should already have a commitment to average social norms such as being on time to all your tutoring sessions, planning the sessions so that the student’s time is respected, dressing appropriately and attending to one’s own personal cleanliness. The “Tutoring Foundations” curriculum from Crossroads of Learning also stresses that tutors should refrain from using obscene, insulting or slang language.  Another rule of etiquette for tutors is to avoid embarrassing or belittling their students. When problems arise, try to speak in a diplomatic way to avoid hurt feelings.

Sometimes the line between being friendly — and being friends — can feel a bit blurry.  For example, once a level of trust in the relationship has been built, students may ask their tutor personal questions, or make inappropriate comments.  In order to avoid this,  a very brief greeting period at the beginning of the session to catch up a bit is recommended, being sure to keep it lighthearted or school related, and then getting back to work, staying on task in a friendly and professional manner!

# # #

Portions of this article are excerpts from “Being Friendly”, reprinted with permission from the Canadian Student Leadership Association. Other portions are from “Tutoring Foundations”, a training curriculum created by Crossroads of Learning © 2013 and developed with the National Tutoring Association (NTA) and Fielding Graduate University. Crossroads of Learning professional development for tutors, trainers or academic coaches is available via on-line courses or a train-the-trainer/workbook program. All courses and materials articulate with NTA Certification requirements. For more information call Nalini Lasiewicz at 818.249.9692 ext 2 or click here to request information.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Associations,Crossroads of Learning,Peer-Tutoring,Small Private Practices,Training/Education,Tutoring Practices

April 10, 2013

Online Academic Coaching course now available for schools, for-profit providers and individuals

by Nalini Lasiewicz,  Crossroads of Learning

Crossroads of Learning recently launched an online course in Academic Coaching.  The course is self-paced and accessed directly through the internet, taking an estimated 5-7 weeks.  The cost is $209.00, all materials included.  The curriculum is also available in workbook format, to be used in face-to-face training and professional development programs for peer and professional academic coaches, tutors or advisers.  The Academic Coaching workbooks are available to organizations who organize trainings by approved trainers, either internal staff who have completed the Train-the-Trainer program from Crossroads of Learning or certified Master Tutor Trainers from the National Tutoring Association (NTA).

Sandra Clayton-Emmerson of the Center for Academic Success at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York was one of the first to complete the course.  She stated, “I found the training absolutely outstanding! I was introduced to new concepts that were specific to one-on-one coaching.” When asked about her experience with an online learning program, she added, “everything was seamless in terms of how it all went together. The readings with links to outside readings and websites really worked, the assignments following the readings made perfect sense and I was able to reach my mentor anytime I needed to.”

The course helps learning support and academic coaching personnel support the goal-setting, critical thinking, cultural awareness and emotional intelligence development of students, dealing with the entire learning path of being a student. Academic coaching builds on the fundamental skills of tutoring, which is why the Academic Coaching course has a prerequisite of the successful completion of the Crossroads of Learning Tutoring Foundations Basic (or Comprehensive) training level.  A skilled tutor can help a student become a better learner.  A skilled academic coach can help students identify and verbalize the answers to not just academic questions, but about setting and obtaining goals far into the future.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Associations,Coaching,College,Crossroads of Learning,High School,Small Private Practices,Training/Education

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