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Illinois State University Coordinates State Tutoring Initiative

This article originally appeared on Illinois State University website and is reprinted with permission.

Teacher working in the classroom with young students

Illinois State University (ISU) is coordinating the Illinois Tutoring Initiative in partnership with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). The program will provide tutoring for approximately 8,500 Illinois students during the two-year period. This is one of four state initiatives aimed at learning renewal following COVID disruptions in schooling.

Six institutional partners across the state including ISU, Governor’s State University, Illinois Central College, Northern Illinois University, Southeastern Illinois Community College, and Southern Illinois University, manage tutoring in their area of the state.

The Illinois Tutoring Initiative is designed around strategic partnerships with local school districts that were disproportionately impacted by COVID, have high percentages of students and families with low-income, and have low funding adequacy. The local partnerships allow for a team of educators who best know each student to be involved in selecting students, scheduling tutoring sessions, and selecting curricula and materials for the tutoring sessions, all ensuring consistency for each student.

“This initiative is an exciting collaboration with ISU faculty and staff to build on our online tutoring program that was established in 2020,” said Christy Borders, director of the Illinois Tutoring Initiative and professor in the Department of Special Education at ISU. “It allows us to bring a more intensive and research-based tutoring strategy to students across the entire state. High-impact tutoring is an exciting avenue to support teachers across the state to supplement classroom instruction and work to build skills in students.”

The Illinois Tutoring Initiative is based on research and best practices for high-impact tutoring. Each student participates in either individual or small group tutoring for at least three hours each week for periods of eight weeks up to an entire semester. The tutors consist of college students across the state (including those in teacher education programs), retired teachers, and community members. Non-profit organizations focused on youth and children will be targeted to assist with workforce development.

All tutors across the state are trained via modules created by ISU faculty and staff. ISU also manages the tutor/tutee matching systems and serve as the data collection and research hub for the program.

“Illinois State University is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the Illinois Tutoring Initiative and is proud to work with state partners on this important project,” said Illinois State University President Terri Goss Kinzy. “The University’s College of Education is a leader in teacher preparation and the faculty and staff members involved in this project bring their broad experience and expertise to the mission of student success across the state.”  

Illinois State University is the oldest public university in the state and was founded as a teacher preparation school. The College of Education at ISU is the largest preparer of teachers in the Midwest and the 4th largest preparer of teachers in the nation. One in six Illinois teachers graduated from ISU.


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