Academic coaches work in teams of two at a school site and are paired according to their complementary college majors. For example, a female math major would likely be paired with a male history major. Coaches spend 3 hours helping with homework and addressing academic issues like homework concerns, time management and goal setting as well as working on social skills integral to high school success, such as self-esteem, self-awareness, team building, and decision-making.
Prior to the first study session at a school site, coaches receive 7 hours of concentrated project orientation and professional development. Team building activities are introduced to promote familiarity and build camaraderie among the coaches. A literature review is incorporated to frame the general challenges of urban education and specific site information provides background on the school where they will work. The coaches, who are not necessarily education majors, are introduced to a wide variety of effective tutoring methods in different content areas with special attention devoted to supporting activities.
In addition to the academic content covered during training, the coaches are also exposed to common milestones in adolescent development and activities targeted at the high school population they are serving. Coaches meet roughly every 6 weeks for a general sharing session and presentations relative to resources they have identified as significant. In total, coaches receive 20 hours of paid training over the course of one academic year.
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