Ripon teacher candidates will help tutor younger students online during COVID-19 pandemic

Ripon College is among a group of higher education schools in Wisconsin that is offering tutoring services across the country during the COVID-19 disruption through its teacher candidates.

More than 100 education students and teacher candidates from Ripon College, St. Norbert College, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and UW Stevens Point will provide grade-appropriate online instruction to K-12 students throughout the United States.

The initiative, started by St. Norbert College Associate Professor Bola Delano-Oriaran and UW Oshkosh Professor Marguerite Penick-Parks, places current teacher education candidates completing their clinical hours with families and K-12 students to support their academic learning during the COVID-19 disruption.

As of Thursday morning, the program was capped at more than 500 students and families that have inquired about the service from Michigan, Maryland, Georgia, Illinois and Wisconsin ― and beyond.

Jean Rigden, director of teacher education at Ripon College, says she is excited about the opportunities this program will provide her practicum students as their classroom experiences for pre-student teaching were interrupted. It also provides a great community service for the K-12 families.

The initiative has been so popular in recent days that there are plans to collaborate with other colleges and universities in the Midwest. The partnership still is fielding additional requests, but acceptance is based on a first-come, first-served basis. The teacher candidates and students will connect using a free online learning platform.

Ripon College students will begin their tutoring experience when school resumes March 30. Online training will take place over two days before the education students begin tutoring the younger students.


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