Employment in occupations related to STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is projected to grow steadily and provide high starting salaries. However, students face unequal access to high-quality STEM education in the United States, thereby affecting their career opportunities. Tutoring has the potential to ameliorate some of these existing inequalities in STEM education and the STEM field. The CUNY Tutor Corps in Math and Computer Science brings students from CUNY colleges into middle and high school classrooms, helping them become highly effective tutors and teaching assistants in the mathematics and computer science classrooms. The program seeks to expand to 180 schools by 2020. Tutor Corps is a partnership between CUNY, the Office of the Mayor, and the New York City Department of Education (DOE).
REPS partners with Tutor Corps to provide evaluation and data services. The implementation and outcome evaluation of Tutor Corps’ pilot year (2016-2017) will inform expansion by identifying best practices. An implementation evaluation will rely on survey and focus group data collected on student (tutee), tutor, and teacher experiences. The outcome evaluation will use quasi-experimental methods to compare non-tutored classes with tutored classes and examine the relationship between the amount of tutoring students receive and their academic performance. The outcome evaluation relies on data from multiple sources, including primary and administrative data. The data team creates efficient processes for data collection and management.
Five questions guide the evaluation project.
- What are the barriers and facilitators to program implementation?
- Does participation in Tutor Corps influence tutors’ future career goals?
- Does hosting a tutor increase teacher knowledge of computer science?
- How do classes with a tutor compare to similar classes in grades and Regents or AP test performance?
- How are students identified for tutoring? What are the characteristics of students whose academic performance improves the most?