Relay’s first program for undergraduate students began recruitment of its inaugural cohort in the Houston and New Orleans areas last week. Relay Tutor Corps will provide undergraduates with the opportunity to work with middle school students in a structured tutoring program.
The goal of this new program is both to 1) provide middle school students with increased learning support and to 2) provide university students with an opportunity to experience some of Relay’s high-quality teacher training. By engaging undergraduates in experiences working with students while they are still in college, Relay seeks to draw more of them into the profession, increasing the caliber, quantity, and diversity of incoming teacher talent.
“There are talented, diverse college students ready to support children in nearby schools and communities,” said Shani Dowell, Executive Director of Relay’s Undergraduate Initiative. “We are excited to tap into the enthusiasm of college students and provide training and development so that they can maximize their impact with students.”
Relay Tutor Corps began accepting applications last week for the program, which will take place during the spring semester and will involve around 50 undergraduate participants. Undergraduates will receive initial training, including introductions to teaching and learning, to issues of inequity in the education system, and to foundational teaching techniques that they can immediately put into practice with their students.
Following the training, undergraduates will be assigned to schools and students that they will support. They will meet with their assigned tutees twice a week for three months, working through a professionally-designed curriculum; the supplemental lessons target key concepts in Math or English Language Arts. The tutors will be supervised by a veteran educator on Relay’s staff who will provide coaching and support to the tutors throughout the experience. Tutors will gain access to parts of Relay’s high-quality online curriculum to supplement their training.
“The Relay Tutor Corps is a key part of our initiative to engage college students—a huge talent pool that can help our public school children now,” said Norman Atkins, President of Relay. “Along the way, so many mission-driven undergrads will discover that they have the potential and passion to become great teachers.”