By Catey Traylor, Central Michigan Life, originally published on November 28, 2011
Unknowingly violating university policy cost one student tutor his job.
In early October, former tutor Tom Jackson, a Waterford junior, emailed colleagues via Blackboard to organize a meeting to discuss qualms about the tutoring services policies. Ten days later, Jackson was fired from his job.
Central Michigan University Police were sent to investigate after a complaint was filed against Jackson by Jane Johnson, assistant director of Academic Advising. According to the police report, Johnson said Jackson was a tutor hired through her office, and after becoming aware of the emails he sent to fellow tutors, she asked him to remove the messages and stop further postings.
A future meeting between Jackson and Johnson was scheduled to be held at the Academic Advising office, but the police report said Jackson came to the office early to question the meeting’s purpose, and because Johnson was not there, he instead had contact with a staff member. The staff member described Jackson to Johnson as “intimidating” because of his clean-shaven head and black trench coat, which was a drastic change from his former appearance, the report stated.
Jackson said he questioned the meeting’s purpose and wanted to move its date up because of anticipation, the report stated, and Jackson said he had owned the trench coat since high school and he shaved his head because he was “tired of messing with his hair.”
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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College
By Joyce McKenzie, Tampa Bay Online, originally published 11/9/11
The city council approved a motion on Nov. 1 to support an initiative unlike any other around. At the urging of Mayor Joe Affronti, the five-member council voted 5-0 to champion the city’s involvement in what may be a first-of-its-kind tutoring program in partnership with the Hillsborough County School District and the Temple Terrace United Methodist Church.
The purpose of the initiative, currently in its planning stage, is to offer after-school tutoring classes, complete with snacks, for children living in apartment complexes near the church who are struggling in school. School district data indicates there are close to 2,000 youngsters who call that neighborhood home. “This could also help kids in that area by lowering their potential for getting into trouble,” Affronti said.
The Rev. St. Clair Moore, the church’s pastor, has offered to provide classroom space and school district officials will identify children who need the help. “I think it’s time for the church to engage in improving the children’s education and help lessen the divide between those who are and those who are not doing as well as they should,” Moore said. “I also think it’s an awesome opportunity for us to partner with professionals to improve the overall lives of our children in the community.”
But Affronti stressed the initiative is by no means faith-based, and it will adhere to separation of church and state standards. The city’s sole role, he also noted, is to seek out volunteer tutors and perhaps financial support from various service organizations.
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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Community
by Jeffrey S. Solocheck, Tampa Bay Times, originally published 11/6/11
Sophomores Maria Rodriguez and Cindy Artola minced no words about their Pasco High School English class.
They hated it. Their teacher didn’t communicate well with them and didn’t help much, they said. “We wanted to change our class, we were doing so bad,” said Artola, 16. “The way the teacher is, is not the way we are used to.”
Their teacher, Vance Scheer, shared their pessimism. “These girls were fighting with me. They were mad at me,” he recalled. “Their work was late and not good.”
Then the girls discovered the school’s new after-school tutoring program aimed specifically at students who are the children of migrant farmworkers. Tutor Tracy Turner, who also teaches eighth grade at Pasco Middle, listened to the girls’ concerns. She met with Scheer to discuss such the girls’ academic needs, the possibility of doing makeup work and other opportunities to help them improve.
And then they set about getting there during twice-weekly sessions in a conference room in Pasco High’s administration building. It turned out to be exactly what the girls, as well as others in the fledgling program, have needed to turn their performance around.
“When they come into my class now, they’re smiling, they’re happy, they’re confident,” Scheer said, explaining that their work is on time and done well, resulting in B’s and A’s. “I fully expect I will be recommending them for honors English next year. They are on their way.”
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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Government,High School