Oklahoma Ramping Up Math Tutoring With Online Program
Oklahoma is using COVID relief funds to start a online math tutoring initiative to help students catch up on learning loss.
In order to combat learning loss and help middle school and early high school students excel in their studies, the Oklahoma Department of Education is allocating $5 million in COVID relief funds toward online math tutoring. Core class scores have suffered the most in recent years. Filling vacant math teaching positions has been the most difficult challenge throughout the teacher shortage. This initiative is expected to provide the added support that many students need, and best of all it’s offering job opportunities for college students.
The state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction recently released a “call to action” asking college students to consider working for the online Math Tutoring Corps. About 1,500 students in grades 7-9 are in need of assistance. In order to incentivise helping them, Oklahoma is offering college students $25 an hour for all training, tutoring, planning, and required meetings that come with the job.
Instruction can be in-person, but online math tutoring is expected to be the preferred route to allow college students time to focus on their own work while helping younger students as a side job. Tutors are expected to instruct up to four students at a time during 50-minute sessions three times a week. This nine-week program launches in mid-September and runs through November 19th. It is projected to provide $1,000 in income to online math tutors and be offered again during the spring semester.
If successful, the spring online math tutoring session will run for 12 weeks and offer an even larger payout to college students who sign up. Although still considered a new service, this online math tutoring initiative launched its pilot program earlier this year and produced positive results with a small group of 400 students. Some 90% of students experienced an increased understanding of mathematics, and 84% of families and students admitted that there was a noticeable increase in confidence in math skills and the ability to learn from mistakes and continue learning.
Another benefit is that college students working for the online math tutoring program are more likely to consider a career in teaching. This initiative provides the hands-on experiences needed to fully understand the profession and encourage young adults to consider working with children in the future. Helping college students find direction and enter fields like teaching gives them the potential to discover rewarding careers while also solving the ongoing teacher shortage.
College students who are interested in joining the online math tutoring program will be eligible to apply starting tomorrow, August 10th. They can apply here. State education officials are eager to expand this initiative and are hopeful that it will close learning gaps brought on by excessive lockdown measures.
Millions of students have experienced hardship during the pandemic and struggled to regain focus on their studies. By offering their online Math Tutoring Corps, the state of Oklahoma is working to allocate COVID relief funds toward aiding students affected by long-term education disruptions. Employing college students to aid them also gives young adults the opportunity to work and go to school while finding purpose in helping others. It is a community-led project that many are happy to welcome.