Increase your professional credibility as a tutor by pursuing a certificate in one of these three categories.
Virtually anyone can become a tutor as long as they’ve graduated high school. In this sense, the tutoring industry is accessible for many, which is likely one of the major reasons so many people pursue this path. While this accessibility is a great feature of the profession, it also means the pool of tutors is quite large. There exists a great deal of competition within the tutoring industry, and being successful is often dependent on making oneself stand out. One effective way to do this is to become certified. There are many options available, from becoming a full-on certified tutor to working on certifications in other education-related programs. Aside from simply making yourself stand out, certifications can also be helpful to learn specialized and cutting edge teaching techniques and will give you more professional credibility when marketing your services. Read on to learn more about three categories of helpful certifications for tutors to pursue.
There are a handful of nationally recognized organizations that provide programs specifically for those wishing to become certified in tutoring. These certifications cost up to approximately $500 depending on the level and type, but can result in increased income for a tutor in the long run. Two organizations are very well-known and widely recommended for the tutor certification programs they offer:
- National Tutoring Association: The NTA is one of the original tutoring associations and provides certification for tutors at multiple levels. Candidates who join the NTA will get access to the certification programs. To remain certified, tutors must pay a $55 annual fee.
- The Association for the Tutoring Profession: The ATP offers certification for tutors at multiple levels based on experience hours and training hours. Recommendations are required for consideration. Priced between $20 and $50, this is a very affordable option.
Learning disability certification
Students with learning disabilities can benefit greatly from the individualized attention they receive in one-on-one tutoring sessions. By becoming certified in specific learning disabilities, you can not only widen your client pool but also make a huge impact in a student’s learning progress. Three examples of helpful learning disability certifications to consider are:
- Dyslexia certification: Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the U.S. With such a high number of students suffering from this language processing issue, it’s a great idea to get certified in reading education specifically designed to help dyslexic students. There are many routes one can take to get certified (check out this helpful list). If you haven’t seen Clark’s post on dyslexia and tutoring, you can read all about it here.
- Autism certification: Tutors can also become certified in working with autistic students. Kaplan has one program, the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Postbaccalaureate Certificate, that costs around $300 and is a great general course for tutors. George Mason University offers another online certificate to consider.
- General learning disability certification: There are many resources for becoming certified in general learning disability identification and intervention. These certifications are very desirable and are offered online through different schools (and often through your local community college). Two online options are the programs offered through Plymouth State University and Michigan State University, the latter of which grants a full graduate degree upon completion.
Alternative education certifications
Certifications do not have to be specific to tutoring. You can also consider alternative education-related certifications as they will also have a positive impact on your professional credibility and advance your own knowledge. Below are three options to consider:
- The College Reading & Learning Association: The CRLA offers a few different certification programs for those looking to work with college students either within the U.S. or internationally. This is often considered the most recognized college-level certification.
- Subject-specific certifications: Furthering your knowledge and strengthening your skills within the subjects you offer to your students is always beneficial. A great option is Harvard’s online extension program. They have an extensive, varied list of subjects in which you can pursue online certification.
- Teacher’s aide certification: There are numerous ways to earn a teacher’s aide certificate. This type of certification helps educators become better teachers, and is also useful for tutors who are interested in working alongside school curricula and collaborating with local teachers. They are often offered through colleges and many can be found online. For a list of common schools offering this training, see here.
For tutors looking to increase professional credibility and stand out from the tutoring competition, becoming certified is an effective method. Whether your goal is to become an officially certified tutor, gain additional knowledge in your subject field, or anything between, there are numerous programs available both online and in person to assist in achieving your goal. As long as you ensure the program you choose is reputable, certification is never a bad idea.
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