April 28, 2014

Students offered mentoring, tutoring under graduation success program

by Ilian Cervantes, The State Hornet, originally published on 4/9/14

All Sacramento State undergraduate students are eligible for tutoring, coaching, mentoring and advising services offered by the Dedicated to Educating, Graduating, and Retaining Educational Equity Students Project, also known as DEGREES.

Implemented in fall 2013 with the support of a CSU Chancellor’s Office grant, DEGREES aims to close the achievement gap for underrepresented minority students and increase graduation rates. The project stems from a CSU systemwide initiative that seeks to increase graduation rates by 8 percent at each CSU campus by the  2015-2016 academic year. “What this project was designed to do is figure out a comprehensive way to serve underrepresented students, while also providing a larger menu of services for all undergraduate students,” said Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, associate vice president for Student Retention and Academic Success.

The multi-faceted project includes 24-hour tutoring services called Smart Thinking for students via Blackboard online, as well as focused advising within three pilot colleges including Arts and Letters, Health and Human Services and Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies.

The project is valuable because it not only provides services to students who are transferring or are in their first year of college, it also tracks graduating seniors, said DEGREES Project co-Director Viridiana Diaz. “It is really important because not all students are eligible for equity-based programs,” Diaz said. “The reason DEGREES is unique and very important is because it also focuses on upper level students like seniors and juniors.”

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College

April 20, 2014

Tutoring and mentoring nonprofit has college students helping out at high schools

by Nan Austin, originally published in the Modesto Bee on 4/3/14

Stanislaus Tutoring and Mentoring Program tutor Melanie Koochof goes over history questions with sophomore Ziare Roach at Pitman High in Turlock on Tuesday. Koochof is one of 37 tutors in the program serving 23 schools. NAN AUSTIN — naustin@modbee.com

A nonprofit group started with university students now fans out dozens of volunteer tutors across elementary schools in Stanislaus and Merced counties. The Stanislaus Tutoring and Mentoring Program, or STAMP, relies on those committed to community to spread the learning.

“I feel like this is the best way to contribute to the community,” said Melanie Koochof during a break at Pitman High in Turlock. Koochof, a biology major at California State University, Stanislaus, plans to be a doctor. She volunteers every Tuesday at Pitman’s Bridge program, taught by Danny Frietas, helping sophomores who need to make up classes. “A lot of these students are very bright, very smart, and I have such faith in them. But they need confidence that they can do it,” Koochof said. Frietas said she particularly helps these students with math.

“They’re all capable,” Koochof said. “They missed out on basic things that prevent them from moving ahead.” To get them through, she provides “a tiny crash course” in the missing link. “I try to guide them, asking questions. So the next time, when I’m not there, they can think for themselves,” she said. “When I’m helping them with a problem, then on the next problem they get it – that’s satisfaction.”

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School

April 15, 2014

Emanuel delivers on promise to expand ‘math tutoring on steroids’

by Fran Spielman, originally published in the Chicago Sun-Times on 3/31/14

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday used $2.5 million in corporate and foundation grants to deliver on his promise to expand to 1,000 students a program that has produced eye-popping results by combining “math tutoring on steroids” with sports-based mentoring for troubled teens.

The expansion that Emanuel promised in January was made possible by a $1.5 million donation from the Equi-Trust Life Insurance Company and a $1 million pledge from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Emanuel characterized the $2.5 million infusion as “incredible investments” in tackling Chicago’s “most urgent” goals: “improving school outcomes,” keeping kids safe and putting them on a path to success.

The Match Education program began two years ago with 106 freshmen and sophomores at Harper High School. The intensive tutoring program that currently serves 600 students at a dozen Chicago Public high schools will now be expanded to 1,000 students. Half of them will simultaneously participate in a sports-based mentoring program for troubled teens known as “Becoming a Man” that has attracted the attention of President Barack Obama.

“The support has put us across the finish line in securing funding to provide 1,000 students with the opportunity to participate in a rigorous tutoring program with a proven track record of success,” the mayor was quoted as saying in a news release. “This partnership is part of a larger, city-wide strategy to invest in expanding youth access to learning, mentoring and employment opportunities that will better ensure all of our students graduate 100 percent college-ready and 100 percent college-bound.”

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Government,High School

April 5, 2014

Tutoring program continues to grow

by Amie Sites, Pharos Tribune, originally published 2/25/14

When students hear the last bell at school, signaling the end of the regular school day, most are ready to leave the building. In fact some students would dread the thought of staying later in the day. That is not the case in Jitka Nelson’s classroom. Nelson, an English teacher for the district, leads an English Language Learner tutoring program for high school students.

The after-school tutoring program for EL students has grown since previous years to become teacher-led and provides transportation to students. The mentoring program provides one-on-one opportunities in a classroom setting and is offered at the high school and both middle schools in the district.

Nelson, who has been at the corporation since 2006, said tutoring has been rewarding. “The students I work with want to learn,” Nelson said. “Their families value education and give support.”

The tutoring session on a normal school day is 90 minutes, but has been shortened to 50 minutes with the extended day due to winter weather. Nelson teaches during the day and then leads the tutoring program during the week.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School,K-8

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