‘Acceleration, not remediation’: NIU College of Education tapped to help COVID-driven Illinois Tutoring Initiative

Tutors hired by NIU will focus on math and reading with third- to eighth-graders.

DeCalb, Illinois – The University of Northern Illinois College of Education is teaming up with Illinois to provide training that will support students whose training has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Illinois Learning Initiative program, run by the Illinois Board of Education and the Illinois Board of Higher Education, works with universities, school districts, leaders, and communities across Lincoln Earth.

Priority is given to school districts affected by the pandemic disproportionately. Each district will identify its students who need tutors, areas in which they need assistance, and personal or online delivery methods.

The program is funded by the federal government’s nearly $ 8 billion investment to help Illinois schools from the pandemic; 90% was distributed directly to school districts.

The NIU has received $ 3.4 million to serve as a focal point for Region 2, which includes 16 counties in the northwest corner of the state: Boone, Bureau, Carol, DeCalb, Henry, Joe Davis, La Salle, Lee, Marshall, Ogle, Putnam , Rock Island, Stark, Stevenson, Whiteside and Winnebaga.

Responsibilities include hiring, training, and overseeing hundreds of people who will provide “excellent” learning – evidence-based practices that accelerate student learning – either one-on-one or in small groups of no more than three students each.

Qualified faculty members can include candidates in teacher licensing programs, which will allow NIU students to gain real-world experience back in school.

Lori Elish-Piper and Jennifer Johnson

Lori Elish-Piper and Jennifer Johnson

Tutors hired by NIU will focus on math and reading with third- to eighth-graders, said Jennifer Johnson, senior director of the NIU College of Education’s Student Achievement Office.

“It’s highly effective tutoring. This is not “homework help”. This is an acceleration, not a correction, ”Johnson said. “This is in direct line with the curriculum and strategies set out in the Illinois Board of Education’s resumption of learning initiative.”

Mathematics and reading are “key areas of content that form the basis of preparing students to succeed in all other academic fields,” said Lori Elish-Piper, dean of the NIU College of Education.

NIU’s choice as the center of Region 2 confirms “how we have been identified as a leader in education and how we can work with school districts to support their needs and the needs of their students,” Elish-Piper said.

Such support also applies to research students.

“I’m thrilled with our teacher candidates because it gives them an extra opportunity to significantly prepare to become teachers, and because it’s a paid experience, a way to help them pay for their education,” Elish-Piper said.

“We hope that next year in the second year we will incorporate some of these experiences into the required clinical experience so that students can take a paid internship where they will receive academic credit,” she added. “They will also build relationships with individual students or small groups of students to develop their own repertoire of learning strategies.”

Elish-Piper also plans to work with community college partners to offer jobs to their students interested in educational careers, “to engage them, build their own training and help link them to the NIU, leading to smoother translations.” .

Media contact: Mark McGowan

About the research institute

Northern Illinois University is a student-centered, nationally recognized public research university with experience that benefits its region and covers the entire globe in a variety of fields, including science, humanities, arts, business, technology, education, health and law. Through its main campus in DeCalbe, Illinois, and educational centers for students and working professionals in Chicago, Naperville, Oregon and Rockford, NIU offers more than 100 areas of study, serving diverse and international student societies.

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