In 1998, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation worked together to devise an action strategy to strengthen the focus on mathematics education. The result of this joint effort was the creation of the America Counts Challenge Initiative.
In response to the America Counts Challenge Initiative, the America Reads/America Counts steering committee at Ouachita determined, with input from Arkadelphia Public School personnel, that initiating a mathematics tutoring program would be beneficial to the children in the Arkadelphia schools. It would also provide practical experience for the university students involved.
The program’s structure is central to its effectiveness in recruiting and training tutors, fostering a successful relationship between tutor and child, linking smoothly with schools and increasing levels of mathematics skills. Ouachita’s Elrod Center implemented a pilot mathematics America Counts tutoring program the fall semester of 1999 which offers one-on one tutoring and mentoring of third grade children by university work-study students or volunteers.
Jan Bass served as coordinator of public school initiatives until her May 2012 retirement.
We welcomed Leigh Anne McKinney as the Elrod Center’s new coordinator of public school initiatives beginning in August of 2012. She is responsible for coordinating all program aspects with the public schools.
How to Become a Tutor/Mentor
Ouachita Students who are eligible for federal work-study or wish to volunteer may apply for these positions during spring semester in order to tutor the following fall semester. Applications will be available in the student financial aid office during the spring semester. Interviews are conducted by the coordinator of public school initiatives prior to the end of the spring semester. The pay scale for tutor/mentors will be $1.00/hr above the average work-study position.
Requirements for Selected Tutor/Mentors
- Complete mandatory training workshops at the beginning of the fall semester
- Sign an agreement to commit to guidelines established for tutoring programs
- Arrange tutoring schedule with classroom teachers after assignments are made