The Association for the Tutoring Profession (ATP) began in April 2003 as an idea to offer a network for tutors and tutor trainers that was unencumbered by corporate intrigue and independent from corporate interests. It was an idea that there should be an organization that offered a clearinghouse of ideas about tutoring and tutor training. The decisions listed below are difficult to order in terms of chronology since they evolved over a period of months and through a number of conference calls and electronic messages. However, by February 14, 2004 all of the concepts coalesced into the concrete whole now called the ATP.

The founders of the ATP are Ms. Darlene Buck, Dr. Ken Gattis, Dr. Jennifer Hurd, Ms. Darlene Kohrman, Ms. Arlene Krellwitz, Dr. Stephanie Marsh, Ms. Teri Mates, Ms. Beth Nikopoulos, Ms. Jane Pole, Dr. Jack Truschel, Ms. Kathy Schrader, Mr. Jim Valkenburg, Ms. Lynell Williams, Ms. Wendy Wilson, and Mr. Mike Zenanko.

This founding group of individuals who had been actively engaged in national organizations for many years communicated their mutual desire to develop an association that would be governed by and guided by its members. To ensure open governance, it was determined that the constitution and by-laws relating to the governing structure of the ATP should be public and published on the ATP website. In addition, guidelines of the responsibilities for each governance position were developed and published on the website.

The founding group determined that elections would be held at each year’s conference. Nominees would then be able to speak before the membership, and the members would be better able to acquaint themselves with the candidates and their perspectives. It was also determined that elections would be conducted at the meeting and the results made public before the end of the conference.
The conference, itself, would be scheduled yearly, beginning in Spring, 2005, and would offer a range of workshops and presentations that would bring information to tutors, tutor trainers and administrators. In addition, with an eye toward budgetary constraints, it was also decided that a series of on-line workshops would be offered to supplement the yearly conference and bring training to participants the year round. These electronic workshops would be available to tutors and tutor trainers at a relatively low cost that would be applicable to tutoring and would generate credit toward ATP certification.

All of the founders believe that certifying tutors and tutor trainers will bring rich rewards to the tutoring profession and to each tutorial program, so it was decided that certification would be offered through the ATP. Criteria for certification were developed with the assistance of the Arkansas Tutorial Association. There are three levels of certification—Associate, Advanced and Master Tutor. In addition, there are two levels of Tutor Trainer Certification—Tutor Trainer and Master tutor Trainer.

Another aspect of the ATP is the development of a network of Chapters and Affiliates. Each state tutorial association that joins the ATP as an affiliate or chapter will gain access to a network where any conference or workshop offered by the ATP or any other chapter or affiliate will become available at the regular membership price with full member rights. In addition, each member of the chapter or affiliate will have the ATP newsletter available, and will be able to attend the ATP conference at the ATP member price. This will allow for a broader range of opportunities for professional development.

The ATP is a work in progress. In 2008 the membership voted to approve the ATP Foundation. The Foundation is currently developing a constitution and bylaws. The future direction of the association will be determined by the membership.
- Jim Valkenburg