• Lenore Croudy Family Life Center, mobile learning lab unveiled at Mott Community College
    College Guidance and Counseling

    Lenore Croudy Family Life Center, mobile learning lab unveiled at Mott Community College

    FLINT, MI — Lenore Croudy often called those closest to her a “lifetime friend.” That designation came with a commitment to support her in efforts to better her community.

    Those who remain friends of Croudy after her death in 2017 remembered her as a community leader, activist and longest-serving member of the Mott Community College Board of Trustees.

    And today, those lifetime friends announced a new dedication in her honor — the Lenore Croudy Family Life Center.

    Mott Community College unveiled the Lenore Croudy Family Life Center that will serve as a resource hub for everyone in the MCC community. The wraparound family service center features Mott Eats, a free food pantry; Ellen’s Closet, where students can get free professional clothing; family counselors and substance abuse counselors.

    It’s a “safe space” for students to study and alleviates barriers that many students face in Flint, like transportation, access to free food, family counseling and emotional support, student Samantha Bayne said.

    “The center and its resources have been a lifesaver, personally,” Bayne said. “I used the Mott Eats program that was a great help when I wasn’t able to afford groceries. … I was able to use Cares Act funding when my car broke down and I couldn’t attend classes or my job. ”

    MCC President Beverly Walker-Griffea called the newest addition to campus a “physical embodiment” of what the college stands for.

    “This is not just a building,” she said. “This is the latest manifestation of out commitment to be a place of purpose and possibility.”

    The center also houses the college’s revamped early childhood center, supported by a $3 million donation from the Charles Steward Mott Foundation.

    This was the perfect way to celebrate Croudy’s everlasting commitment to the community, Walker-Griffea said.

    “A place of high purpose and endless possibilities. A place where no student is left on their own. A place where love, direction and guidance can be found in abundance,” Walker-Griffea said. “A place named after a pioneering woman of color who’s leadership and legacy live on in our community — the Lenore Family Life Center.”

    The center opened for on-campus staff and students about nine months ago, MCC Communications Specialist Dawn Hibbard said, but an official ribbon-cutting couldn’t take place due to COVID-19 gathering regulations.

    Renovations to the center, which formerly housed the Woodside Church, took about a year and a half to conduct prior to opening.

    MCC Mobile Learning Lab

    In addition to the Lenore Croudy Family Life Center, Mott Community College unveiled a Mobile Learning Lab with capabilities to meet students where they are to secure engineering certificates and explore career fields.

    The mobile learning lab, which fits on a semi-trailer, expands to nearly 1,000 square feet when set up for classrooms. The lab houses robotics training, augmented reality welding programs, a 3D printer and classroom section with laptops. It can be outfitted for multiple different programs to accommodate where it is visiting.

    The lab will make visits to local schools, manufacturers, job sites, jails and other career-related events to help members of the community earn information technology certificates, certificates in machine operation and advanced welding certificates.

    Paul Lafia, a retired physician in Genesee County, brought the idea to the table years ago and helped bring one of the few mobile learning labs in the nation to Mott Community College.

    “There’s only one thing that will improve people’s lives. That is acquiring a skillset that allows them to function in the 21st century,” Lafia said. “This is a state-of-the-art facility that will allow young and old people to increase their skills and get jobs in advanced manufacturing.”

    Walker-Griffea described the mobile learning lab as a modernized book mobile that will reach out in the community to remove barriers to furthering education.

    Read more on MLive:

    Flint community remembers MCC chair Lenore Croudy as ‘a woman of service’

    Flint schools cancel Doyle-Ryder classes for rest of week after mold discovered

    Co-op grocery store in north Flint holds groundbreaking ceremony

    After deadlocked votes, new candidates selected for special Davison Township clerk election

  • Online Course Contact Hours | Office of Digital Learning
    ONLINE COURSES

    Online Course Contact Hours | Office of Digital Learning

    Online courses should have the equivalent amount of contact hours per student credit hour as those delivered in other modalities. The student credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

    1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction (defined as a nominal 50-minute classroom hour) and a minimum of two hours of out‐of‐class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
    2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. The amount of academic credit awarded for such other academic activities is specified in UAM 6,081.

    This definition applies in every instance in which academic credit is awarded to students, regardless of whether instruction is delivered face-to-face, online, remote, hybrid, or by some other mode.

    For the typical three credit class, it is expected that a student will be engaged in classroom learning experiences of 150 minutes x 15 weeks = 2250 minutes. This means the student should spend the equivalent amount of time within their online classroom participating in discussion boards, taking quizzes/examinations, viewing video or PowerPoint slides, reading information from linked web sites, reviewing instructor lectures or any other items that engage the student within the online classroom. Recommended calculations for time-per-online activity can be found in the attached table [see following page]. Homework hours at the University of Nevada, Reno should equate to approximately two hours per every in-class contact hour for any given course. Items that fulfill the homework hours are reading the course text, completing formal writing/ research assignments, answering questions on text readings, conducting research, studying for examinations, and other out-of-classroom course requirements.

  • Personal Tutoring

    Teaching & Learning

    Personal TutoringPersonal tutoring is about supporting students’ understanding throughout their time at UCL. GMAT tutors create customized test preparation plans, teach computerized test-taking strategies and familiarize students with the various sections of the test (quantitative, analytical writing and verbal). Most tutors or teaching assistants work only component-time. The assistance accessible must be clearly communicated so that students know where to get help when they require it, and staff realize the nature of their part.

    An successful personal tutor creates the proper climate for their tutee to believe about and attempt and produce their own resolution to problems, through utilizing a much more non-directive coaching style method, in which they listen actively, reflect and summarise, and ask resolution orientated concerns to support a tutee to move forward in their considering about their problems.

    Its contents are mostly directed at tutors but may also be of interest to employees and students across all of the UK, China and Malaysia campuses. Preserve an eye on tutoring jobs boards – we have 1 on our internet site too, which is cost-free for tutors to use. The skills and self-assurance you build with personal tutoring at Education One particular will stick with you for life.

    Stork, A and Walker, B (2015) Becoming an outstanding Personal Tutor Supporting Learners by way of Personal Tutoring and Coaching. Learn much more about distinct skilled avenues for potential tutors. Alternatively, both entry-level and seasoned tutors can select from a variety of tutoring certification applications to create new competencies and become certified.

    The platform offers access to employees and student profile info, such as a profile image drawn from Portico, helping to assistance a much more personalised face-to-face interaction. The University (each centrally and at a College level) supplies a wide range of support and improvement services to help students in difficulty, as properly as to improve the wellbeing, private and academic improvement, understanding of University practices, employability and sense of neighborhood of each student.

  • Numerade Opens Free Online STEM Summer Bootcamps to Help MS and HS Students Overcome COVID Learning Loss
    Bootcamps

    Numerade Opens Free Online STEM Summer Bootcamps to Help MS and HS Students Overcome COVID Learning Loss

    Get essential education news and commentary delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up here for The 74’s daily newsletter.

    Summer is a time for students to explore personal interests, and for an expected 100,000 students, free STEM bootcamps will provide a chance to expand their understanding of everything from calculus to chemistry, biology to algebra.

    For the second straight summer, Numerade is offering free summer bootcamp courses as a way to combat pandemic learning loss. The eight-week video-based online classes are geared toward middle and high school students, using a web-based virtual learning platform. There are 20 courses, offering access to some of the company’s more than 1 million short-form educational videos — created with input from over 1,000 educators — covering STEM courses as well as SAT and ACT test prep.

    When students sign up for the free courses, they are placed into cohorts with other students. “They key to the learning process,” co-founder Nhon Ma says, “is the content created through educators and a sense of community with the students.” Students can interact with others in the same bootcamp via the online Discord server, ideally helping one another answer questions and discuss the content. Each week, students get a sequence of videos aligned to the curriculum, designed to be watched at their own time and pace. At the end of the week, quizzes track students’ understanding, and at the end of eight weeks, participants can earn a certificate of accomplishment for completing the course.

    The rolling course offerings start every week, and Ma says students are encouraged to take multiple classes through the summer. Last summer, 30,000 students participated, and he’s expecting around 100,000 this year.

    “We give encouragement and support and the resources students need for their grades and confidence to improve greatly,” Ma says. “There is a positive benefit that happens for the students and their community.”

    The free summer program also serves as an introduction to Numerade and the $9.99-per-month subscription fee to access its entire library of content.

    Founders Ma and Alex Lee, both from south central Los Angeles, started working together eight years ago, after scholarship opportunities allowed Ma to attend and graduate from Columbia University. He then worked in finance and served as a product lead for programmatic ad design at Google. It was there that Ma decided he wanted to instead focus on closing gaps in educational opportunities.

    After first creating an online tutoring platform, the pair learned that students were routinely going back into recorded tutoring sessions to replay them multiple times. “What is foundational for the learning process, especially for STEM, is repetition,” Ma says. “Students need to get the reps in as much as they can, and in a safe space where they are not judged.” That insight led to Numerade, which launched in 2019, allowing students 24-7 access to the short-form video resources.

    The free summer bootcamps started in 2020, and, “with learning loss accumulated, we felt a huge responsibility to help students close any learning gap as much as possible and get ahead,” Ma says.

    The desire to build an interest in STEM led the company to focus videos on children as young as middle school. “If students don’t get the reinforcement and support they need in middle school, often they drop out of STEM entirely,” Ma says. “What we want is to make sure students have the confidence to continue on their journey.”

    For the summer bootcamps, courses cover physics, math, chemistry and biology. Chemistry 101 offers an introduction to reactions, aqueous solutions, thermochemistry, electronic structure, the Periodic Table, chemical bonding and gases. Chemistry 102 covers liquids, solids, solutions, kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, aqueous equilibria, thermodynamics, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry.

    The biology summer camp features understanding of cellular respiration and fermentation, the cell cycle and cellular reproduction, photosynthesis, cell signaling, gene expression and viruses.

    The Physics 101 Mechanics course studies motion, energy, forces and momentum while Physics 102 Electricity and Magnetism creates a virtual lab to understand temperature, heat, electricity and magnetism. A Physics 103 course puts a focus on differing waves, whether mechanical, sound or light, and quantum mechanics.

    Math courses range from algebra to precalculus and geometry to calculus, the most popular. The summer programs also include test prep for both the SAT and ACT.

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  • Learning English: Defenders of bilingual education in Spain: ‘It’s a mistake to think that students will speak English like they do Spanish’ | Society
    Bilingual Education

    Learning English: Defenders of bilingual education in Spain: ‘It’s a mistake to think that students will speak English like they do Spanish’ | Society

    In recent years, an educational trend has gained new traction, one that holds that a pure British accent – the Queen’s English – no longer has to be the one that prevails when teaching, learning or using English to communicate. This trend, known as ELF (English as a lingua franca), favors a more neutral pronunciation where the goal is to get the message across.

    “The important thing now is being able to communicate; the purity of the accent is a thing of the past,” holds María Luisa Pérez, a professor of English studies at Jaén University and a leading researcher on this issue.

    This line of thinking bears a relationship to the debate on whether the bilingual Spanish-English education model used in some public schools in Spain is really up to par, considering that some regions – which have devolved powers over education – ask teachers for a B2 level, indicating fluency but not proficiency as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Other regions require teachers to prove a C1 level, for proficient users of the language.

    In recent years, nearly 90 centers have dropped out of the bilingual education system, viewing it as ineffective. But Pérez, just like other experts, warns that many people simply have the wrong idea of what a bilingual model really does. “It’s a mistake to think that children will end up speaking English just like they speak Spanish; the goal is for them to achieve a functional level that will let them communicate and work in the future,” she explains.

    Spain’s first English-Spanish bilingual program for public schools was introduced in 1996 as a joint initiative of the Spanish Education Ministry and the British Council. The goal was for students to become “fluent” in English, considered “decisive to favor employment prospects and professional ambitions.” Starting in the year 2000, regional governments began to launch their bilingual programs, and the number of enrolled students has grown 498% in a decade.

    At no point was it ever claimed that students would end up speaking perfect English, although that continues to be the hope of many families who sign up their children for these programs. So says David Marsh, who back in the 1990s (before the bilingual model was introduced) coordinated a team of psychologists, educators and scientists to analyze why, after eight years of studies at schools in various European countries, graduating students were barely able to put together a single sentence in English.

    False expectations

    Marsh and his team detected that the major problem was the methodology used at centers, based on memorizing and repeating concepts, with critical thinking relegated to a secondary role. Their solution was a system called CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), which was included in the action plan to promote linguistic diversity launched by the European Commission between 2004 and 2006, and which lies at the heart of today’s bilingual model.

    This system defended learning a new language through the study of other subject matter such as maths, geography and history. But there was a limit: the student would never actually speak the second language as well as their native one. “The word bilingual is dangerous and it creates false expectations,” says Marsh. “Families think that if they take their children to a bilingual school, they will learn another language in a short space of time, but the real goal is for Europeans to be able to communicate at a basic level.”

    Administrators at the Isaac Albéniz secondary school in Leganés (Madrid) defend the bilingual model and report being pleased with the results. “Getting students to speak perfect English is impossible, we the teachers are not native-like, but we know enough to teach secondary school kids,” says Inmaculada Alonso, head of studies at the school and herself an English teacher. Alonso was a member of a panel that assessed teachers’ ability to be part of the bilingual program in the Madrid region, which requires a C1 level. “In the oral test, which is around 15 minutes, we made them talk about their life, their favorite movies…we didn’t let just anyone pass,” she says.

    Her colleague Óscar García, another school administrator, is convinced that accent plays a secondary role. “Some of them [students] have better pronunciation than others, but what’s really improved is their understanding, the way they follow the classes… we’re on the right track.” he says.

    However, there are many Spanish teachers who believe that under the current system, students are neither learning English properly nor grasping the content that’s being taught in that language – in primary school, natural and social sciences as well as arts and crafts; in secondary school, 40% of courses including geography, history, physics, chemistry and biology.

    But there are studies showing that performance in English has improved, while remaining stable in other subjects taught in that language. In 2018, the universities of Jaén and Córdoba published the Mon-CLIL report after working with a sample of 2,245 students at 43 public centers, three private ones and eight concertados (semi-private) in the regions of Andalusia, Extremadura and the Canary Islands. This report showed that children in bilingual programs scored 1.23 points higher in English than their peers in monolingual programs at the primary level, and 2.4 points higher at the secondary level. But they also performed 0.46 points better on Spanish at the primary level, and one point higher at the secondary level. As for other content taught in English, kids in their fourth year of secondary education scored 0.50 points higher than students in non-bilingual programs.

    The same report also underscored the problems with training teachers in bilingual programs, including a lack of familiarity with the concept of CLIL, which theoretically lies at the heart of the new methodology. Another weak point was the teachers’ low skills when the time came to communicate effectively in English with their students in class.

    “Every man for himself”

    Pedro, a 36-year-old interim teacher at a bilingual secondary school in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), has never heard of CLIL. “Nobody has told me how I should teach my class; my understanding is that it falls within our academic freedom. The only thing they made quite clear is that classes had to be taught 100% in English and that tests have to be administered in English as well.” In his view, the situation could well be summarized as “every man for himself.” He obtained the C1 certificate during a year he spent at Oxford and teaching in English is not a problem for him, but he has received no specific training in methodology. No regional government requires this in order to teach in a bilingual program.

    Enrique Lafuente, who teaches a master’s degree in teacher training at Zaragoza University and has a degree in English studies, believes that the biggest problem lies in the fact that bilingual programs were launched without previously providing sufficient, extensive teacher training. “It’s not just about translating a textbook into English and teaching the class just like you would in Spanish,” he notes. “The CLIL involves a specific methodological change. Before starting on a new subject, you ask students what they already know and make them share it out loud with their peers. This creates a preliminary reflection as well as stimulating motivation.”

    The teachers should have basic knowledge of how a new language is learned, and help students produce texts as well as hold conversations in that language. “Teachers should provide the scaffolding, text structures that can be imitated in order to produce work of a certain quality… the science teacher must be aware of the student’s linguistic needs.”

    The program created by the Education Ministry and the British Council, with 147 participating public schools in 10 regions of Spain, theoretically includes something called a linguistic advisor, who serves as a coordinator of sorts and is required to have experience in the Anglo education system, preferably with field experience in the United Kingdom. This individual is in charge of conveying educational strategies to the teaching staff, and planning an integrated curriculum combining the Spanish coursework with elements of the British system. But this role does not in fact exist in Spain’s public bilingual schools – instead, there is a coordinator who is typically the school teacher with the strongest English skills.

    English version by Susana Urra.

  • Pathways of Promise: California’s Community Colleges Partner With HBCUs, Opening More Higher Learning Options for Students
    College Guidance and Counseling

    Pathways of Promise: California’s Community Colleges Partner With HBCUs, Opening More Higher Learning Options for Students

    When she was 18 years old, Ayeisha Gipson wasn’t sure college was the right move for her. She was apathetic about school, despite her mother’s passionate urging that she matriculate to a university. Gipson enrolled at San Diego City College to appease her mother, but she didn’t really know what she wanted to pursue. She thought becoming a radio DJ might be fun.

    So, in 2009, Gipson met with a counselor at San Diego City College ­— but it was an unfortunate encounter. Instead of receiving guidance, she received discouragement. The counselor told her a radio jockey job was unattainable for a Black woman.

    Gipson does not remember the name of the counselor whom she met with that day — and he no longer works at San Diego City College — but she does know that her relationship with higher education went downhill from there. It wasn’t until 2015 that she felt compelled to try school again. 

    Ayeisha Gipson earned an associate degree from San Diego City College and a bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University. Gipson will begin studying for her master’s degree at Teacher’s College of Columbia University this fall.Ayeisha Gipson earned an associate degree from San Diego City College and a bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University. Gipson will begin studying for her master’s degree at Teacher’s College of Columbia University this fall.“I finally said, ‘I want better for me,’” said Gipson.

    She returned to San Diego City College. And she found that something important had occurred during the six years of her absence.

    In 2010, California law established a direct transfer agreement between its community colleges and four-year state schools, like California State or University of California system universities. The legislation allowed for the California Community Colleges (CCC) to create a separate degree path called an Associate for Transfer Degree that guaranteed transfer for students with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA. In theory, students spend two years at community college and two years at a four-year institution, graduating with both an associate and bachelor’s degree.

    Bob Quinn, a specialist at the CCC chancellor’s office, says he could see that “the students most impacted and made successful by this [new agreement] would be those with lower transfer success rate within our system. Of the students that have indicated an intent to transfer, only 40% do it. For our Black students who indicate intent to transfer, the number is only 35%.”

    Black students make up about 6% of the CCC student population, but Quinn says it “made sense” to lift these students. He started looking nationwide for partnerships and realized there was great potential in historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

    In 2013, Quinn drafted a proposal to the California government, and it was approved. From that moment on, HBCUs were invited to join the California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee Agreement to Historically Black Colleges & Universities. By 2015, it was approved, and nine HBCUs had already signed on.

    For Gipson, that partnership opened a doorway she had never been able to see herself walking through. Even though she hadn’t always been sure about going to college, there was something special about the idea of going to an HBCU. She transferred from San Diego City College to Grambling State University in Louisiana, a place and experience she called “a Black utopia of unity.”

    There are no HBCUs in the state of California. Any student wishing to attend one must contemplate out-of-state tuition costs and the prospect of moving across the country, potentially leaving them unsupported. The CCC transfer program aims to change that. 

    “The matriculation for students can be challenging — just the stress of moving far away and in addition to the culture shock, this is tough for anyone, let alone a 20-year-old,” says Quinn.

    The CCC Transfer Agreement now has 39 participating HBCUs with room for plenty more, Quinn says. 

    Most students who enter a community college with the intent to transfer don’t. According to data collected by the General Accounting Office, students lose about 13 credits, or 43% of their earned college credits when transferring. Direct transfer agreements look to side-step that issue, creating alignment between the courses taken at a two-year institution and the required courses at a participating four-year college.

    What can be even more difficult, according to the Community College Research Center, is tracking the progress of transfer students. Some students wish to be independent and choose not to engage with the counseling office to transfer, which can make providing support difficult. That’s why Quinn and the CCC partnered with National Student Clearinghouse to find the best ways to assess their success.

    Students meet with HBCU representatives at a career fair. Each fall, California Community Colleges and HBCUs partner for a road trip up and down California’s coast to spread the word about their opportunities.Students meet with HBCU representatives at a career fair. Each fall, California Community Colleges and HBCUs partner for a road trip up and down California’s coast to spread the word about their opportunities.“One thing we did find is that the persistence [at HBCUs] was really good one year after. Analysis of last year’s [transfer class] was 86% persistence. That was a really good number to see,” says Quinn.

    Despite the CCC and HBCU efforts to connect with as many students and institutions as they can, some still don’t know the opportunity exists. California has recently increased grant funding for the transfer partnership, and Quinn is hoping to use the money to spread the word about this opportunity across the state of California, and maybe across the nation, about the successes of their students. Some 400 at least have matriculated to an HBCU thanks to the agreement.

    The project is helmed at El Camino Community College in Los Angeles by Dr. Arynn Auzout Settle. She is now the project director for the CCC/HBCU transfer agreement, but she started as the relationship coordinator, building connections with HBCUs across the country and following up with her students, making sure they have connections on their chosen HBCU campus. Working on this project helped to open students’ and counselors’ eyes to HBCUs, Settle says, “even though these campuses have been in existence for 100 plus years.” 

    Settle is an HBCU graduate herself, just like her mother before her. Settle was born in Los Angeles and was, at first, hesitant to cross multiple state lines to follow in her mother’s footsteps, but she decided to attend Fisk University in Tennessee. Even though she was far away from home, conquering her hesitancy was worth it “to know you’re going into a space that is welcoming, nurturing, fully accepting of who you are and what you bring.”

    Settle’s time at Fisk “was an amazing, life changing experience, and when I share my journey with students, staff, counselors, they’re able to connect with that,” she says. She utilizes her background in psychology as she meets with her HBCU transfer students, asking them deep questions and encouraging them to think hard about what environments they feel most able to thrive in.

    Finding the right fit

    Students are encouraged to apply to multiple HBCUs and California state schools so they’re best able to compare offers and scholarships. Settle and her counselors help students with the trickier aspects of FAFSA or scholarship applications to make sure their students can get the best offer. Regardless of what scholarship might be presented, however, the students are guaranteed admission. 

    Those California students who move to Louisiana, Texas and Georgia will find a strong Californian community already there waiting for them, says Settle, as a large number of CCC’s transfer students choose to attend Clark Atlanta University, Grambling State University and Texas Southern University (TSU).

    Dr. Brian Armstong, the executive director of outreach services for TSU in Houston, Texas, says that part of that reason so many Californians come to Texas is because the climates are very similar; students don’t have to deal with hard winters in Texas or California. 

    “We are one of the closest HBCUs to California, so they don’t have to go too far,” says Armstong. “And we’re in a big international city.”

    TSU engages with several transfer partnerships in the state of Texas. But, says Armstrong, one of the best things about the CCC agreement is its simplicity. Instead of having to manage each individual community college relationship, there’s one simplified process for all of California’s community colleges. 

    The first nine HBCUs to sign with CCC jokingly called themselves “the divine nine,” says Quinn, a reference to the divine nine Black sororities and fraternities. Dillard University in New Orleans was one of those original nine. Its president, Dr. Walter Kimbrough, says that making the decision to sign the agreement was easy.

    “California [enrollment] is always number one or number two for out of state,” says Kimbrough.

    One reason for Dillard’s large number of out-of-state students is the migration patterns out of the deep South during Jim Crow. 

    “You had a lot of African Americans in the 1930s and 1940s who went to school in the South. When they graduated though, they couldn’t get jobs. So, they went north, and they went west,” says Kimbrough. “ … A number of [CCC transfer] students have come through, particularly those interested in our pre-law program [and] are now going to law school. That might be the purest pipeline for those students.”

    Jesus Murillo used his transfer opportunity as a ladder. He went from working on the weekends in the walnut fields of Visalia, California, and making $20 a bucket, to the College of the Sequoias, to Fisk University in Nashville and now to Harvard. Originally, he had envisioned himself at UC Berkeley, and in fact had already utilized his Associate for Transfer Degree to gain admission there, when he happened to stop at a college fair on campus. There, he met two Black men in “three-piece suits” representing Fisk University. They offered him a full ride, and Murillo accepted: “I told them, ‘You gave me this amazing opportunity. I promise I won’t squander it.’”

    Murillo went on to re-establish the NAACP charter at Fisk University, earning it the award for most active branch in Tennessee. Murillo directly cites the support he received from Fisk’s faculty as being the thing that pushed him toward success — his professors not only knew his ambitions to enact social change, but they also knew his personality. They were able to guide him in applying to Harvard, where he is now attending divinity school.

    Toenisha Hudson is photographed in front of the president’s office at Dillard University. Hudson, not interviewed for this article, has participated in the debate and mock trials held by Dillard University.Toenisha Hudson is photographed in front of the president’s office at Dillard University. Hudson, not interviewed for this article, has participated in the debate and mock trials held by Dillard University.Brandon Aninipot is a senior at TSU — he’ll be graduating in December 2021. When he started at TSU, Hurricane Harvey was approaching, which devastated the Houston area with flooding. The latter half of his time at TSU has been marked by COVID-19. Yet in spite of these experiences, Aninipot says he “loves, loves” TSU.

    Going to a community college before transferring to an HBCU was, what he called, one of the best decisions of his life. When he graduated high school, he says he wasn’t sure yet what he wanted to do with his life, and he lacked the maturity that he has now. Plus, he says, if he hadn’t gone to a community college first, he would never have known what an HBCU was.

    “My father is Filipino, my mother is Jamaican, so I struggled with my identity growing up,” says Aninipot. “When I went to TSU, I realized that there are people just like me. It made me more comfortable with myself and my skin, with myself in general. It really taught me I can be myself; I can thrive.”

    Settle and Quinn say that they hope, as the transfer agreement continues to be successful, more HBCUs will sign on to join them. Settle and Quinn want to spread the word to more high schools, more counselors and more students. Settle runs an annual caravan with several HBCUs; she and participating HBCU representatives pile into a chartered bus and travel down the coastline of California, visiting college fairs and high schools.

    Ayeisha Gipson knows just how important the connection can be between counselor and student. It stopped her from truly trying to succeed at college; now, good counseling from Settle and other mentors has propelled her all the way to Columbia Teacher’s College. She will start earning her master’s degree there in the fall, working to become a counselor.

    Gipson says she will make sure that students never have the negative counseling experience she experienced but instead feel as supported as she did during her time at Grambling State University.

    “I don’t think I’d have been able to do this without the transfer agreement,” she says. “I wanted the Black college experience. It was the best decision I ever made as an adult, best decision ever. Changed my life for the better.”   

    This article originally appeared in the August 19, 2021 edition of Diverse. Read it here.

  • LA-based education platform Numerade offers free online STEM bootcamps to help MS and HS students overcome COVID learning loss
    Bootcamps

    LA-based education platform Numerade offers free online STEM bootcamps to help MS and HS students overcome COVID learning loss

    (Numerade)

    Summer is a time for students to explore personal interests, and for an expected 100,000 students, free STEM bootcamps will provide a chance to expand their understanding of everything from calculus to chemistry, biology to algebra.

    For the second straight summer, Numerade is offering free summer bootcamp courses as a way to combat pandemic learning loss. The eight-week video-based online classes are geared toward middle and high school students, using a web-based virtual learning platform. There are 20 courses, offering access to some of the company’s more than 1 million short-form educational videos — created with input from over 1,000 educators — covering STEM courses as well as SAT and ACT test prep.

    When students sign up for the free courses, they are placed into cohorts with other students. “They key to the learning process,” co-founder Nhon Ma says, “is the content created through educators and a sense of community with the students.” Students can interact with others in the same bootcamp via the online Discord server, ideally helping one another answer questions and discuss the content. Each week, students get a sequence of videos aligned to the curriculum, designed to be watched at their own time and pace. At the end of the week, quizzes track students’ understanding, and at the end of eight weeks, participants can earn a certificate of accomplishment for completing the course.

    The rolling course offerings start every week, and Ma says students are encouraged to take multiple classes through the summer. Last summer, 30,000 students participated, and he’s expecting around 100,000 this year.

    “We give encouragement and support and the resources students need for their grades and confidence to improve greatly,” Ma says. “There is a positive benefit that happens for the students and their community.”

    The free summer program also serves as an introduction to Numerade and the $9.99-per-month subscription fee to access its entire library of content.

    Founders Ma and Alex Lee, both from south central Los Angeles, started working together eight years ago, after scholarship opportunities allowed Ma to attend and graduate from Columbia University. He then worked in finance and served as a product lead for programmatic ad design at Google. It was there that Ma decided he wanted to instead focus on closing gaps in educational opportunities.

    After first creating an online tutoring platform, the pair learned that students were routinely going back into recorded tutoring sessions to replay them multiple times. “What is foundational for the learning process, especially for STEM, is repetition,” Ma says. “Students need to get the reps in as much as they can, and in a safe space where they are not judged.” That insight led to Numerade, which launched in 2019, allowing students 24-7 access to the short-form video resources.

    The free summer bootcamps started in 2020, and, “with learning loss accumulated, we felt a huge responsibility to help students close any learning gap as much as possible and get ahead,” Ma says.

    The desire to build an interest in STEM led the company to focus videos on children as young as middle school. “If students don’t get the reinforcement and support they need in middle school, often they drop out of STEM entirely,” Ma says. “What we want is to make sure students have the confidence to continue on their journey.”

    For the summer bootcamps, courses cover physics, math, chemistry and biology. Chemistry 101 offers an introduction to reactions, aqueous solutions, thermochemistry, electronic structure, the Periodic Table, chemical bonding and gases. Chemistry 102 covers liquids, solids, solutions, kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, aqueous equilibria, thermodynamics, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry.

    The biology summer camp features understanding of cellular respiration and fermentation, the cell cycle and cellular reproduction, photosynthesis, cell signaling, gene expression and viruses.

    The Physics 101 Mechanics course studies motion, energy, forces and momentum while Physics 102 Electricity and Magnetism creates a virtual lab to understand temperature, heat, electricity and magnetism. A Physics 103 course puts a focus on differing waves, whether mechanical, sound or light, and quantum mechanics.

    Math courses range from algebra to precalculus and geometry to calculus, the most popular. The summer programs also include test prep for both the SAT and ACT.


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