learn / 2021

EnCorps STEMx (Expert) Tutors

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by EnCorps STEM Teachers

We train and support STEM professionals from fields such as biotech, aerospace engineering, information technology, and medicine to become tutors, guest teachers, and fulltime teachers who transform learning as they gain the respect of students with their real-world experience. STEMx (Expert) Tutors will provide one-one-one virtual math tutoring to grades 6-8 students. Identified students cannot make sufficient progress without intervention. Our goals are to improve academic achievement in math AND to develop a STEM identity for these students.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • East LA
  • South LA
  • City of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

A high-quality STEM education can set students on a path towards upward economic mobility, but persistent access and literacy gaps continue to disproportionately and unjustly limit children of color and low income student opportunities. COVID-19 has further disrupted learning and progress toward improving student outcomes. Public Policy Institute of California (Jan 2021) reports that only 54% of current ninth graders in low income communities will attend college; only 20% will earn a bachelor’s degree. Critical shortages of math and science teachers compounds the problem. Districts with a majority of students of color and students living in poverty struggle to attract and retain qualified STEM educators. We believe that the unequal distribution of quality instruction is not only a function of the allocation of scarce financial resources, but also an attribute of the systemic equity issues that reflect the unspoken and widely held traditional normative values that we aim to change.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

STEMx (Expert) Tutors will serve as mentors and provide academic assistance to middle school students currently under-performing in math. We aim to prepare students for the rigor of high school mathematics that will provide them access to education that will help them break the cycle of poverty, pursue higher education, and secure jobs in the 21st century. The program will be overseen by an EnCorps Program Coordinator who will recruit STEMx Tutors and conduct training in collaboration with Site Coordinators at each school. Site Coordinators will ensure resources and connectivity for students, collaborate with STEMx Tutors and EnCorps staff, and be responsible for reporting program success via students’ outcomes over the academic year. Working with teachers, Site Coordinators select students based on their sub-standard proficiency in math. Although all tutoring will be virtual, a “Site Orientation” will take place. STEMx Tutors will learn about the school community in which they will serve, including student demographics, school history, school culture and other relevant information. Throughout their service, they will receive multiple trainings which will help them to incorporate culturally responsive teaching strategies and STEMx Tutors will learn to foster an inclusive culture where different backgrounds, talents and capabilities are welcomed and leveraged for learning.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

380
Direct impact
1,140
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

EnCorps STEMx Tutors VISION for SUCCESS By providing academic enrichment, tutoring and mentoring to our target population of middle school children educationally and economically under-resourced communities, we believe that we ensure equity and access to quality math and science education out of school via STEMx (virtual) Tutors’ and we empower students and families to advocate for and pursue further STEM education. In the short term, we will create greater confidence and interest in STEM subjects. This will result in improved academic achievement, and subsequently, higher graduation and college attendance rates, and more graduates entering STEM-related fields.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

EnCorps STEMx Tutors will be responsible for increasing students’ math literacy as evidenced by 1.) homework completion and 2.) improvement in overall math achievement as evaluated by students’ classroom teachers within one academic year. School Site Coordinators will be responsible for supplying this data to EnCorps. Separately, EnCorps will be partnering with The Partnerships in Education and Resilience (PEAR) Institute, utilizing its assessment tools with our students to measure STEM related attitudes including career knowledge and interest over time AND the development of 21st century skills and socio-emotional learning such us perseverance and critical thinking. We will also gather data about our educators and their attitudes about the impact of their demography, degree of self-efficacy and perceptions of student outcomes.

Which of the learn metrics will you impact?​

  • College matriculation
  • High school graduation rates
  • Proficiency in STEM