Running head: MCC(CD) LITERACY OUTREACH

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1 Running head: MCC(CD) LITERACY OUTREACH Literacy Outreach: Developing Student Leaders through Peer-Tutoring Megan Garvy Education Studies Faculty Mesa Community College

2 It is one of the beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself. -Ralph Waldo Emerson There is over 40 years of research available that is related to peer tutoring. Key features of programs across grade levels include frequent opportunities for participation, increased participation and time on task and regular, immediate feedback (Bowman-Perrot L., et. al, 2013). Literacy Outreach builds upon the validation that peer-tutoring is an evidence-based practice by using a simple structure, resources and tools that will provide data to further investigations as to the benefits of peer-tutoring to increase college readiness skills and interest in post-secondary education. During the AY at Mesa Community College, 52% of incoming students tested into developmental education courses for English, reading, writing and/or mathematics. Highstakes standardized tests are utilized in K-12 classrooms to measure student and school progress and also are utilized as criteria for grade advancement including high school graduation. Students testing into developmental education courses and students falling far below or not meeting the standard achievement levels on these assessments are at-risk for challenges in post-secondary education. All students, K-20, benefit from on grade-level literacy and math skills that promote academic achievement in all content courses as well as preparedness for college-level English, reading and math. Failure to be proactive in preparing students for increased literacy, number concept and algebraic skills results in a negative impact to high school graduation rates and college recruitment/retention. Additionally, research concludes that psychological affective components of being a student influence school retention (Byrd & Macdonald, 2005). Students that engage in student-to-student and student-to-instructor interactions are more engaged in their classes. The peer-tutor model creates a partnership between tutors and students that can easily become part of the school culture as it is incorporated within courses that target remedial skills

3 development or within established school programs that help students academically. In this particular model, students acquire knowledge using research-based supplemental materials that are personalized to each individual while acquiring critical-thinking skills that are applicable to communication, problem solving, goal setting and formative assessment. During the AY, the Education Studies Department at Mesa Community College partnered with seven local high schools to support peer-tutoring cohorts aimed to promote academic achievement by increasing AIMS reading, writing and math scores and decreasing the number of first-year college students testing into developmental education courses. College and high school communities are working together to increase high school student achievement and create a bridge to college. In its first year of implementation, Literacy Outreach has already impacted 118 high school students concurrently enrolled in EDU101: Tutor Training and Practicum by providing these students with real time and online training. Targeted tutee groups in Phoenix Union High School District cohorts have reached a 69% pass rate on the AIMS reading test and an 80% pass rate on the AIMS writing test after being tutored for one semester. The average pass rate is 20% for this subgroup of students district-wide on either the reading or writing portion of the AIMS test. Attendance rates for tutees increased, and high school tutors have attained higher academic achievement with college preparedness. Tutoring cohorts at one partner site included a focus population tutee group of English Language Learners (ELLs). For AIMS Reading, 50% of the ELLs who are juniors and seniors in Literacy Outreach program and who have failed AIMS reading multiple times passed, compared to 26% of the ELLs who are juniors and seniors not in the Literacy Outreach program and who have failed AIMS reading multiple times passed. For AIMS Writing, 38% of the ELLs who are juniors and seniors in the Literacy Outreach program and who have failed AIMS writing multiple times passed, compared

4 to 9% of the ELLs who are juniors and seniors not in the Literacy Outreach program and who have failed AIMS writing multiple times passed. Tutors have shown a 29% gain in readiness for college English and a 43% gain in readiness for college reading, testing out of developmental English and reading courses on the college placement exam. This program prepares Arizona students for college and equips them with communication skills that promote career readiness. The research for peer-to-peer tutoring programs is isolated mostly to elementary schools and includes reports based on learning strategies. This program is unique to incorporate supplemental reading and writing materials into real time training for the high school tutors. Participating tutors are trained to use supplemental resource math and/or reading materials, based on tutee needs. Tutors integrate these materials into their tutoring sessions with anticipation to make a positive impact on achievement results for tutees in these portions of the AIMS and to college placement exam scores of the tutors in mathematics, English, and/or reading. Cohorts range from 2-20 tutors with a 2 or 3:1 tutor:tutee ratio, meeting multiple times each week during advisory periods, as part of before/after school tutoring clubs, and/or during designated AIMS prep courses. Mesa Community College has provided scholarship monies to pilot tutoring cohorts and high schools have allocated Title funds to pay college tuition fees for all participating tutors. The tutors also earn International Tutor Training Certification by completing EDU101 and participating in 6-10 hours of real time training. Many of the high schools will honor these tutors at their graduation and/or award ceremonies. Maricopa County Community College District is invested in the growth of this program to impact more students in Arizona. Conversations have begun to duplicate this model across Maricopa Community Colleges and serve Arizona students in their region. Based on initial data collected, the Literacy Outreach

5 Program has potential to serve as a model across the country to ensure student success, college readiness, and global competitiveness.

6 References Bowman-Perrott, L., Davis, H., Vannest, K., Williams, L., Greenwood, C., & Parker, R. (2013). Academic Benefits of Peer Tutoring: A Meta-Analytic Review of Single Case Research. School Psychology Review, 42(1), Byrd, K. L., & Macdonald, G. (2005). Defining College Readiness from the inside out: First- Generation College Student Perspectives. Community College Review, 33(1),

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