ELKINS - Derek Fincham, coordinator of academic support at Davis & Elkins College’s The Naylor Learning Center, recently presented a tutor training model workshop at the National College Learning Center Association annual conference in Milwaukee, Wisc.
His session, titled “Person First Language & Disability Etiquette: A Tutor Training Model,” introduced a training model he developed. The model addresses disability types and demographics, effects on learning, and ways to communicate and interact with students in varying disability populations.
Fincham says the topic meets the needs of learning center professionals at a time when the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics shows an increase in the number of students with disabilities enrolling in higher education.
“Learning center administrators and tutoring professionals must be equipped with the skills to effectively interact with this increasing student population to ensure retention and matriculation,” Fincham says. “A starting point is having a basic understanding of major disability groups and how disabilities affect learning. Once basic knowledge is gained, effective tutoring professionals must know how to properly communicate and interact with this unique student population.”
The annual conference attended by learning center professionals from throughout the nation focuses on learning center administration, research, staffing, funding, program evaluation, best practices and other practical issues.
Fincham is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in higher educational leadership at West Virginia University, where he earned his Master of Science degree in rehabilitation counseling in 2007 and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies in 2005. In 2007, he achieved national certification as a rehabilitation counselor.
The Naylor Learning Center at Davis & Elkins College provides academic support for all students. Dedicated in 2011 through the generosity of the Naylor Family, the Center offers tutoring, study groups, academic counseling and classes that teach basic skills such as time management, organization and study skills.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.