of Start To Finish:
Start To Finish was originally proposed to set forth the ideas
and execution of a colege to high school mentor program. This program
targets students proposal is to set forth the ideas and execution
of a college to high school mentor program. The program targets
students who might have trouble graduation under their present circumstances,
specifically larger high schools where graduation rates are less
than ideal. College mentors and their students will pair up, providing
the students with academic resources and keeping them focused on
high school graduation. As college students, the mentors are provided
with a unique perspective, allowing them to relate, tutor, and advise
the high school student.
For years, the United States has attempted to remedy its weakness
in the public school system. Standardized tests were a way to gauge
the improvement in education, but teaching has become a practice
of raising test scores. This has led to more goal-oriented teaching
styles which, combined with a rising student-to-teacher ratio, has
led to less focus on the individual needs of each student. Some
students can handle this changing environment, but others are less
well adapted, especially those without the will or reason to concentrate
This is where a teenager's role models factor into the equation.
Parents are, and have always been, the number one influence in their
child's life. Their time, support, and encouragement make a significant
difference in a student's education. However, many parents find
themselves wishing they could spend more time facilitating their
child's education. However, other daily obstacles, such as work,
miscellaneous errands, and family care, eventually get in the way
of finding enough time. This is where the mentor program can play
a critical role: it can become a helping hand to the parent and
provide a role model for the student.
About The Program:
The basic premise of the program is to set up one college mentor
with one high school student. The primary concentration is on improving
the high school student's academic achievement and ensuring the
student's graduation. The process through which this goal is accomplished
is generally up to the mentor, but periodic tutoring sessions, communication
with teachers and parents, as well as reviewing progress reports
are all activities the mentors are expected to perform.
To get this program started, a variety of challenges need to be
tackled. Currently, several students at Georgia Tech are being asked
about their possible levels of participation. At the same time,
specific administrators and professors have been asked for their
input and support for the program. Through these participants, contacts
will need to be extended to potential high schools.
When a participating high school is identified, the program will
be discussed with the school's guidance counselors, principles,
teachers, and other school officials. From these discussions, rising
high school students will be identified, and their families will
be invited to participate in the first run of the mentor program.
At the same time, the first college mentors will be recruited, most
of whom will likely first year college students. The initial start-up
of the program will consist of only a few student-mentor pairs.
This way, there is no risk of being overwhelmed and any problems
that arise can be dealt with in confidence. The high school students
and mentors will meet a few times before the start of the high school
student’s freshmen year, in order for them to get to know
This relationship forms the cornerstone of the program's integrity
and demonstrates the contrast between a standard tutor-student relationship.
The small difference in age allows for the student to connect with
their college mentor, but at the same time still allows for the
mentor to secure his/her role as an authority figure. The years
spent working with each other provides accountability and a commitment
to success not found in any tutor program. In essence, the strength
of the student-mentor bond is combined with the tutor mentality
to cement a productive and long lasting relationship.