Colleges in Action: Programs Employing College Students in P-12 Support Roles

NPSS-Aligned Student Support Programs

There are numerous evidence-based approaches to supporting P-12 students’ holistic thriving. Learn how partnerships between institutions of higher education, schools, districts, and nonprofit organizations can make a breadth of opportunities available for higher education students to serve and work in roles as tutors, mentors, student success coaches, postsecondary transition coaches, and more, in P-12 schools and out-of-school time programs.

Leveraging Virtual Tutoring for Pandemic Recovery K-12 Connect at Grand Valley State University


Program Overview: 

  • K-12 Connect is housed within Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and partners with school districts to provide individualized K-12 academic support to students through virtual, high-dosage tutoring services in the areas of reading, math, and high school academic mentoring. Plans are underway to manage similar programs for other institutions of higher education.
  • K-12 Connect program was formed in 2020 to combat pandemic learning loss through offering free tutoring to Michigan families. It has since shifted to a community/school district partnership model where they offer flexible scheduling to accommodate any student and school needs.
  • All tutoring through K-12 Connect is approved for ESSER spending and aligns with the Michigan Department of Education’s accelerated learning strategy. 
  • Tutors are highly trained in virtual and culturally responsive pedagogies and are provided ongoing instructional training from GVSU faculty and staff. Tutors are predominantly GVSU students, paid through Federal Work-Study and other funding sources. This academic year, K-12 Connect employed 110 GVSU students through Federal Work Study positions. Once Federal Work-Study funds have been exhausted, these students remain employed by K-12 Connect through other funding sources. 
  • While tutors are currently college students tutoring in 1:1 and 1:2 virtual environments, K-12 Connect is expanding its tutor pool to utilize paraprofessionals in 1:3 settings as well.

Program Impact: 

  • Since 2020, K-12 Connect has provided over 75,000 tutoring sessions in 61 Michigan counties and Arizona.
  • This 2022-23 school year, more than 1,000 K-12 Connect tutors have served 3,000 K-12 students across 22 school districts in the states of Michigan and Arizona.
  • Tutors have the opportunity to increase their responsibility, knowledge, and pay through a merit-based leveling program which factors time in the organization, completion of literacy micro-credentials, and job performance.
  • K-12 Connect works with the school to identify data sources to track student growth. At the conclusion of the tutoring cycle, schools receive a full report detailing student growth and program impact. Throughout the tutoring cycle, schools have access to live data of student participation in virtual sessions and session feedback from tutors. 

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