Partnership with Craven Community College

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CLC Program Coordinator, Carol McCormick, 3rd from left

With the same goals of preparing residents for college and careers, Craven Literacy Council (CLC) and Craven Community College (Craven CC) have recently formed a partnership to increase tutoring availability for Craven CC students. This will be a new program for both organizations.

The program will provide free tutoring services to students enrolled in adult high school, high school equivalency, and ESL (English as a second language). These courses are part of the college’s Basic Skills program.

According to Jennifer Bumgarner, Craven CC executive director of academic support, the tutoring partnership will improve student success rates and move students through high school equivalency course curriculum faster. “The tutoring will reinforce classroom learning, but it will also allow the instructor to move through the material faster,” said Bumgarner.

In a 2001 U.S. Department of Education publication, Evidence that Tutoring Works, “Students with below-average reading skills who are tutored by volunteers show significant gains in reading skills when compared to similar students who do not receive tutoring from a high-quality tutoring program.”

Within Craven CC’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program, which provides tutoring, students were more than twice as likely to persist to the next semester than the college’s general college population. This success has become a model of how the college is expanding tutoring services to students who may not qualify for programs such as TRIO SSS or the newly implemented TRIO Educational Opportunity Center.

In the relationship, Craven CC will provide the facilities and student support, and CLC will provide the tutors. The primary focus will be math tutoring. CLC serves Craven, Pamlico and Jones counties with the mission of building literacy skills to empower adults and improve lives. The college’s students will be co-enrolled in Craven CC and CLC programs.

Carol McCormick, CLC program coordinator, said the 30-year old nonprofit is funded from some of the same state educational funding as the college for Basic Skills programs. McCormick said the funding program tasks receiving organizations to form partnerships, reduce redundancy of services, and help students to reach career and college goals.

According to Nicole Mena, Craven CC tutoring coordinator, the college has wanted to increase tutoring and has been considering utilizing volunteers due to budget constraints. “We are really excited to have CLC on board,” said Mena.

The tutors are volunteers who are trained by CLC and receive instructional support from McCormick. In the next week, the seven CLC tutors will hold their first meetings with their students. “The vision is to continue to sustain, enhance and expand the partnership,” said McCormick.

The CLC volunteer tutors participate in a 15-hour training to become a ProLiteracy® certified tutor. “A majority of our tutors are retired persons who want to give back,” said April King, CLC outreach coordinator. King said tutors spend approximately 2-3 hours of time preparing and conducting each tutoring session and are requested to give at least a year of their time.

For more information about becoming a tutor contact CLC at 252-637-8079 or visit their website at http://www.cravenliteracy.org/.

For more information about Craven CC’s tutoring and academic support programs, contact Mena at 252-638-1213.

Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.

Article originally appeared in New Bern Sun Journal.