IU East’s Center for Service-Learning provides effective tutoring programs

Indiana University East’s Center for Service-Learning served over 325 students in grades K-12 this year to improve their academic skills, gain confidence in the classroom and to set positive goals for their future. Over half of those students (173) were in grades 6-12 and they were registered in the Indiana Kids program.

Partnerships with Indiana Kids plus the center’s Math Counts! Program (funded by the Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation), connected more than 30 IU East students with middle and high school students to provide tutoring and mentoring for math, English, science and social studies.

group of IU East students learning skills to tutor

IU East students attend training sessions to tutor K-12 students in a variety of subjects through the Center for Service-Learning.

Indiana Kids is a collaboration between Indiana University and Serve Indiana providing academic tutoring, mentoring, and workshops for students statewide in grades 6-12.  This program, developed through IUPUI, is at all the Indiana University campuses, and the Center for Service-Learning houses the IU East Indiana Kids program in the Campus Library. Indiana Kids and the IU East Center for Service-Learning have collaborated since 2017.

All registered Indiana Kids can access free online tutoring in the evening during program dates, and each IU campus has unique services and workshops. IU East offers on-campus tutoring in the summer and after school during the school year, as well as off-campus tutoring and mentoring at area schools and organizations.

IU East has also been able to offer tutoring to K-5 students, through the Math Counts! program as well as through work-study tutors or volunteers.

Ann Tobin, campus/community service-learning liaison at IU East, said the partnership with Indiana Kids has allowed the center to hire additional tutors to serve more secondary students since tutoring was first offered in summer 2015.

“Indiana Kids also allowed us to introduce mentoring and workshops, which usually involved college readiness,” Tobin said.

IU East student reads individually with a young student

IU East student Eric Mejia tutors a student at the Campus Library.

The third and most recent Indiana Kids college readiness workshop was co-hosted with the IU East women’s basketball team on July 18. The program, “Get Your Head in the Game,” brought young students and their parents to the campus to focus on growth mindset, how to fund their education, and how to manage their plans for the future. Amy Jarecki, dean of students; Brittany Chesher, associate director of Financial Aid; and Twenty-first Century Scholars representatives, shared their expertise in a program designed by one of the Indiana Kids program coordinators, Cassidy Clouse. Clouse is a 2018 graduate of IU East and will attend the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Indiana Kids also allowed the IU East center to expand its services off campus by providing tutoring and mentoring in area schools, including Richmond High School, Hibberd Early College Academy, Test Middle School, Northeastern High School, and Union High School,  as well as Girls, Inc. of Wayne County. The locations of this outreach are determined by school request and tutor/mentor availability. It works best for some Red Wolves to work where they live, and oftentimes IU East students are excited to return to their hometown schools as role models to tutor, mentor, and share their recent experiences with students who stand where they once stood. One such IU East Indiana Kids tutor/mentor includes Alexis Williams, who returned to Union High School last year to work with individual students on academics as well as college preparation.

Additionally, the center at IU East recently completed its fifth summer of K-12 tutoring, serving about 30 K-12 students each week for 6 weeks. Fall tutoring programs will begin in September.

“We were able to send our tutors out to schools and organizations to work with students in their summer programs, especially Girls, Inc.,” Tobin said. “I could not do the planning and preparation for the summer program, as well as the tracking and reporting, without the help of student coordinators. Eric Mejia has been the primary coordinator. His problem-solving skills, as well as his exceptional ability to relate to and connect with parents/students/teachers are vital to the success of the program.”

For spring semester 2019, funding from the Indiana Kids program provided 844 hours of tutoring/mentoring and 1,031 interactions with students in grades 6-12. After each term, assessments of the tutoring program are done by surveying participating students, parents, school site supervisors, and the IU East tutors and mentors.

For spring 2019, more than eighty percent of the parents participating in the assessment, and who brought their child to campus for the after school tutoring program, indicated their child enjoyed school more, did better in classes they found to be difficult, received better grades, showed more interest in completing high school, showed more interest in completing positive goals, worked harder to achieve set goals, showed more confidence in managing difficult situations, became more aware of college opportunities available, had greater awareness of career options after high school and practiced healthy behaviors more often. All parents indicated that they believed the mentor/tutor was a positive influence in their students’ learning.

Students who received mentoring and tutoring from IU East students indicated positive outcomes in the assessment as well. All 22 students participating in the assessment felt they improved in math through the help of their tutor. Students indicated that participation in the program made them feel more confident that they could solve difficult problems if they try hard enough, they felt more able to deal with difficult situations, they got better grades, and they were certain that they will finish high school.

Tobin said after school tutoring for this fall will begin September 23 at IU East. Tutoring is held Monday through Thursday from 4-6 p.m. in the Campus Library, located in Hayes Hall. To register for tutoring programs, email Ann Tobin at aktobin@iue.edu or register online at iue.libsurveys.com/tutoringregistration.

Parents or students in grades 6-12 who are interested in tutoring or mentoring at their schools may submit an online application at go.iu.edu/1SV5 and talk with their teacher, counselor, CIS coordinator or principal about receiving tutoring/mentoring services.