For the first time, the Next Level Scholars (NLS) program launched an all-virtual plan for students. The priority of the NLS program is to provide the best possible support to students as they prepare for success in life after high school. In order to achieve this, the program pivoted to introduce new features.
The newest support being offered to students this school year is online tutoring. With the use of a tutoring platform called Tutor.com, we can make sure that our students are receiving more targeted academic support.
In addition to personalized 24/7 online access to qualified subject-matter tutors, Tutor.com covers more than 60 major subjects, builds confidence in students, and is completely free for each student in the NLS program to use. With help from Eagles for Children, we were able cover some of the cost of this program with grant funding.
“Tutor.com has been such a helpful resource. It has been helping me get my homework done. You can choose from a voice chat or typing chat. While you are getting help from a tutor you can ask as many questions as you want and they will try to answer them in the best way! I’m glad that Next Level Scholars offers this help to us.”
– Omimah Y., Next Level Scholar
Virtual Campus Visits
Visiting college campuses is a major element of the NLS program and student experience. In a typical school year, students visit about eight campuses throughout Southeast Michigan from trade schools to community colleges, and four-year universities. While on these visits, students begin to visualize themselves belonging on a college campus. They are able to interact with admissions professionals, see the classrooms, learn about majors, and get a feel for the difference between large schools and small schools.
Because these visits are so crucial to students as they begin to make decisions about their futures, the NLS program worked with colleges this school year to continue bringing value to students. Virtual campus tours provide a unique look at colleges during a time when large in-person group tours aren’t possible. Recently, the NLS program took students on a virtual visit to Michigan State University.
Because we know that not all students are the same, we also used a traditional classroom model in Google Classroom which outlined the steps that students needed to complete in order to get the whole campus visit experience. Students were able to connect through pre-recorded videos and chats in the classroom, which they really enjoyed.
“I think my favorite part of the campus visit was the 360 tours. While it wasn’t the same as being able to go there and experience the campus first-hand, I still got an idea for how living on campus may be. It encouraged me.”
– Cameron C., Next Level Scholar
“Thank you for giving me a chance to see the MSU campus. I really appreciate it!!”
– Richard V., Next Level Scholar
These student quotes reflect that, with the shift to virtual programming, we’ve remained consistent and impactful. Similar to what students experience during in-person campus visits, Cameron C. reflected that seeing the dorms and really getting a feel for campus was his favorite part of the virtual experience. This is exactly what our program (in person or virtual) is designed to do. These visits turn on a lightbulb and ignite a sense of belonging in post-secondary education for our students. Richard V. expresses something we hear from students regularly; thank you messages. Our students let us know how appreciative they are of the NLS program & how we’ve adapted to help them during changing times. We will continue to do everything we can to help inspire and prepare students to succeed in life after high school.