IU Southeast Student Success Corp: Using tutoring/mentoring to improve p-12 learning

8th April 2024

by Gloria Murray

New Albany, Ind. – The IU Southeast Student Success Corp (SSC) continues to address the educational needs of Indiana students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With funding from the Indiana Department of Education beginning in 2021, the group focuses on improving the academic and social development of Indiana students.

Using tutoring/mentoring best practices, the SSC has served special needs students, ethnically diverse, English learners, poor students, and students who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in New Albany Floyd County Schools.

Over the last two years, IUS students from different disciplines, including teacher candidates from the School of Education Secondary and Elementary Programs, and members of the local community provided support for our local area students. 

Over the last 4 semesters, 142 tutors/mentors have worked closely with students in local schools (not including spring 2024).  Hired tutors/mentors visit schools between two and four times a week for at least 2 hours a day or more. Education candidates are in the schools once a week each semester for an average of 11 weeks. The SSC has provided on average 1000 hours of tutoring/mentoring for New Albany Floyd County students per semester. 

Members of the Student Success Corp spend time at several schools each week with students selected by the counselors and principals. The tutors/mentors work with students in all subjects and try to build relationships with each young person. Along with working on academics, tutors/mentors share insights into college and career readiness concepts. 

“We learned about multiple intelligences in our class (F201) and that helped me acknowledge my students’ intelligence in all areas, said an Elementary Education major. 

Tutors/mentors also benefit from being part of this effort. They learn about the current educational environment and how to practice skills like patience and listening. They also learn about the challenges P-12 students face and at the same time they learn about themselves. 

“I see it over and over again, being able to work individually with these kids and bring out their highlights, their sparkles, and views that may not have been seen before has been wonderful.”

Due to changes in the Secondary Education Program, secondary students were not able to continue as tutors/mentors after spring 2022. However, IU Southeast’s partnership with the Elementary Education Program remains strong. The SSC program hired 17 tutors/mentors and has 27 Elementary Education candidates working in the schools for the Spring 2024 semester. Research is also being gathered from teachers and some Preschool-12 students on their perceptions of the work of the SSC. 

The program also works on parent programs and community programs in the schools. The SSC is partnering with the IU Southeast Office of Admissions this spring to bring over 600 eighth-grade students to campus to learn about college and career readiness opportunities. 

The SSC is part of the Office of Academic Affairs, which has recognized counselors for success in matching tutors/mentors with P-12 students. The partnership is key in making sure students who need tutoring and mentors receive these services. 

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