Awesome -- thanks, Conrad, for sharing some helpful insights!
The cost of remedial education in college is obscured by various factors, e.g.: - Students/their families pay tuition that could be better spent on higher-level courses; however, that tuition amount remains the same - Colleges spend time and resources to build and support remedial classes that could be better allocated toward true college-level courses
We have thus decided to shift towards a more urgent pain point: the lack of cost-effective, high-quality test prep for aspiring college students from low-income backgrounds.
Re: a & b: we are planning to co-design some of these logistics with students themselves. Initial ideas include: - Student tutors could be self-nominated and will potentially earn monetary (e.g., stipend/tuition refund) and/or non-monetary benefits (karma points that can be redeemed) - Student tutors will be evaluated based on academic and tutoring skills and given focused tutor training
Re: c-e: we have been talking with various education nonprofits and after-school programs. Additional contacts and leads are always welcome and appreciated!
Re: f: we are looking at a blended learning model, starting first with in-person tutoring and then incorporating online apps as appropriate
Appreciate your feedback and ideas -- thank you, Gina! Some initial thoughts: 1) We are leaning toward the latter, where each student pod is led by a peer tutor that is one level higher than that of the other 3 students. As those 3 students approach the level of their peer tutor, each is then assigned to be a peer tutor for 3 other students... A couple of us had also talked about a model more similar to your former example: one where each student in a pod serves as a tutor. Any thoughts or past experiences related to which model might yield better academic outcomes?
2a.) One idea we've brainstormed is around "karma points" that both tutors and students are granted when a pod moves up from one level to the next. Karma points might be redeemable for non-monetary rewards for people other than oneself or one's fellow podmates. 2b.) Our original idea was actually geared toward reducing the cost of after-school tutoring programs and/or test prep classes (this idea was then adapted to a higher ed context for the OpenIDEO challenge). It's difficult to measure the true cost of remediation classes -- e.g., students (and/or their parents) pay tuition for remedial classes that could be better allocated to other classes; college instructors teaching remedial classes might be underutilized; governments and higher educational institutions are putting time and financial resources into remedial education; etc. Definitely open to other ideas as to where such a model might be most needed and most effective...
3) Have heard a bit about the CCSF program -- would love to learn more about both. Might there be specific websites or contacts at either/both programs that you might recommend? Thanks again!
Thank you, Alex! We're in the process of looking for partners (e.g., community colleges, education nonprofits focused on college success, etc.) and/or groups of students to pilot this program with. Any suggestions or leads would be welcome and appreciated! And great questions -- definitely ones that we are continuing to brainstorm.