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How to Train a National Tutoring Corps at Scale

Author: Marcelle Hutchins

A coalition of education groups have unveiled a tutor training designed to grow a national tutoring corps to support student success. 

Annenberg Learner, Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and Step Up Tutoring are offering the training as a solution for school districts and tutoring programs facing cuts as federal funds for tutoring expire and as many schools battle with an uneven learning recovery among students. Virtual tutoring can be an especially effective academic intervention, but not enough tutors are available to ensure all students have access. 

“A major barrier to addressing unfinished learning is the shortage of tutors available to meet students’ needs,” said Nati Rodriguez, Program Director for Annenberg Learner. “This curriculum will help school districts and tutoring programs all over the country build a pool of trained, qualified people who can provide consistent support to local students and ensure they are getting the attention they need to bridge gaps in learning.” 

The High Impact Tutoring training resources are rooted in research and tested practices. Partnering with Stanford University’s National Student Support Accelerator (NSSA) and other subject matter experts, the program includes 24 nanocourses — 15-minute interactive online learning opportunities — to build foundational skills for effective virtual tutoring and instructional strategies for math. 

The training is available at no cost to tutors thanks to support from Annenberg Learner. It’s available via ASU’s Community Educator Learning Hub, an award-winning platform that helps young professionals and volunteers learn new teaching strategies. Tutors receive certificates for completion of each 15-minute nanocourses. 

“Training is a crucial part of mobilizing people and technology to support learners,” said Korbi Adams, Senior Program Manager of Community Educator Initiatives at ASU. “Community members, volunteers and tutors turn to the Learning Hub because it’s user-friendly, enjoyable and interactive. By offering this training on a large scale, we can equip and empower more people to become tutors, creating a larger and more effective nationwide network of people supporting learners.”

Growing research shows high-impact tutoring to be one of the most effective ways to address unfinished learning among students. The virtual curriculum aims to provide schools and tutoring programs with a resource to help expand tutoring programs at little to no cost. Data show that 4 in 5 public schools offer tutoring programs that could benefit from the training. 

The curriculum has been tested by coalition partners, including Step Up Tutoring, which found that 88% of Step Up tutors reported positive growth in content knowledge after taking a nanocourse. 

“We’ve seen excellent results amongst our tutors who have used the new curriculum to build on their strategies to support student learning,” said Sam Olivieri, Chief Executive Officer for Step Up Tutoring. “Providing additional resources to an already strong base of tutors helps us drive better outcomes for students, providing them with consistent, effective lessons that help bridge gaps and improve overall outcomes.”

The coalition is also piloting a High Impact Tutoring Micro-credential to establish a nationwide standard and quality control measure that will help formalize tutoring programs and improve student outcomes. To receive the micro-credential, tutors will need to demonstrate high-impact tutoring competencies.

The micro-credential will be tested by pilot partners OnYourMark, TFA Ignite, and Grand Valley State University. The coalition will continue to gather feedback to make improvements to the micro-credential with a broad release scheduled for fall.

To learn more about the tutor training available now, click here.

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