Our subject-specific Success Coach tutoring program includes consistent, individual tutors (Success Coaches) aimed at filling the gaps students have in their core skills and knowledge and, where possible, recover credits.
The literature about high-impact tutoring and its impact aligns on five basic principles:
- Consistency: Building a relationship with the same tutor across multiple sessions helps students invest in their work, even when it is challenging.
- Frequency: Frequent tutoring sessions are best. Graduation Alliance recommends two 25 minute or one 45 minute tutoring session each week for students in grades 9-12.
- Quality: High-quality instructional materials designed to assist the student in achieving satisfactory performance in the applicable grade levels and subject areas are paramount to the effectiveness of tutoring sessions.
- Individuality: A small student-to-tutor ratio yields the best outcomes. Graduation Alliance recommends no more than three students per session.
- Flexibility: Tutoring embedded during the school day is preferred; however, additional options outside of school hours to maximize access are available.
Remediation and acceleration opportunities will focus on assisting students to achieve satisfactory performance in the applicable grade level and subject area. Consistency and relationship building with the subject-specific Success Coach are key to this work.
For struggling students in grades 9-12, our subject-specific Success Coach program provides a pathway to success for academically at-risk students who have previously failed a course, including both tutoring and the ability to recover lost credits at the same time.
Students will be directly enrolled in the program at the direction of the participating districts. Graduation Alliance program managers will work with districts to create a schedule of Coach availability. Districts will have the option of assigning one to three students to a session, and choosing among 25-minute and 45-minute sessions, depending on student needs for either remediation or acceleration.
Districts will also be able to select multiple sessions for students per week. Graduation Alliance will manage Success Coach and small-group continuity.
Subject-specific Success Coaches will follow best practices in the structure and design of tutoring sessions. Each session will:
- follow a structured session plan and the content will either be based on Graduation Alliance course content aligned to state standards or focused on test-taking strategies and practice tests to allow students to successfully master current grade-level content at an accelerated pace when appropriate, or, when warranted, review and remediation.
- include an independent or guided practice component comprising activities including, but not limited to, pair work, modeling, explanation, and peer teaching to demonstrate mastery of content and concepts.
- will be, to the extent possible, provided by the same Success Coach throughout the school year.
- regularly evaluate student performance and progress using the above strategies in addition to individual sessions with the tutor in order to tailor pacing.
The primary difference between attendance recovery and the proposed tutoring program is that in attendance recovery, students may or may not be currently enrolled in the district and generally receive support to mitigate obstacles with engagement or attendance, including issues around improving academic performance, navigating academic resources, and getting assistance with barriers. Subject-specific content coaches in the tutoring program work with students who are already enrolled in school to remediate academic skills in core subjects and where appropriate, recover high school credit for those subjects.
Quality Matters, a national third-party validator of best practices in online education, external evaluators reviewed and evaluated Graduation Alliance’s approach to instructional design and core content courses for accuracy, completeness, freedom from bias, and quality of content delivery. All courses scored between 98-100% of points possible.
Additional reviewers include Cognia, which awarded Graduation Alliance an Index of Educational Quality score of 374.69 (out of 400 and compared to a Cognia Institution Network five year average of 278.34-283.33), and the NCAA which approved Graduation Alliance’s core courses for college- bound athletes.