University Park, IL,
16:16 PM

GSU tutoring to help with learning renewal amid COVID pandemic


As the COVID-19 pandemic lagged on, many parents and educators began to sound the alarm for students who were falling behind. Some students excelled at e-learning. Having class at home took away all the social pressures that impeded their learning before. However, some students really struggled. The social isolation was deafening. Educators began to speak about the tsunami of ‘F’s’ students were earning, and the various other issues students faced with e-learning. 

Today, as part of an effort to help school districts disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, Governors State University (GSU) is teaming up with schools across the state to provide tutoring to thousands of students.

The Illinois Tutoring initiative will provide tutoring to about 8,500 Illinois students during a two-year program aimed at learning renewal following COVID disruptions in schooling. GSU is one of six institutions across the state tasked with managing tutoring in their area and is slated to hire 579 tutors.

The initiative, which will run until summer 2023, is based on research and best practices for high-impact tutoring. Each participating student will be in individual or small group tutoring sessions for at least three hours each week.

Beyond supporting students, it will also give college students, retired teachers, parents, and community members a chance to fill important tutoring positions. They will be trained via modules created by Illinois State University (ISU) faculty and staff. ISU has developed and will manage the tutor matching system and serve as a hub for data collection and research.

Jeanetta Edwards, Director, Institutional Partner for the initiative, said the effort is designed “to provide extra support to our already struggling students.” These students faced additional challenges amid the pandemic, which caused several gaps in many schools not only for children but for teachers and administrators, she said.

“The initiative is intended to bridge the gaps by hiring tutors who are teacher education candidates, higher education students, and other community partners – like parents, corporate executives, and even our religious entities,” she said.

She also hopes the effort makes the community stronger, noting she believes it has the potential to unite the school districts.

“All must realize we are stronger together because it gives us the ability to review our commonalities, to learn from each other, and devise plans to grow into a sustaining force,” she said. “It also allows us to begin a dialog across districts and with GSU to consider ways this initiative can support efforts to revitalize, strengthen, and reinvest in recruiting, training, and sustaining teachers in this community.”