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HEART Tutors and Paul Tough’s “Who Gets to Graduate?”

June 2, 2014

Paul Tough’s “Who Gets to Graduate?” makes me excited about HEART tutors’ role. – Emily Elliott

We tell our tutors, “Your job is 50% delivering the curriculum and 50% being a positive influence.”  Paul Tough’s description of self-doubts around ability and belonging as obstacles preventing low-income students from graduating from college has been great food-for-thought on how HEART tutors can help.  In addition to the high-fives and explicit messaging around hard work and growth, our tutors have the opportunity to share their own experiences in a way that inspires students’ perseverance and confidence.  For some it is, “I was in your shoes.  This was hard once for me, too.  I know you can do it.”  For others it is, “I know this is difficult, but when you keep trying and growing, look at my path as an option for what you can become.”

“Ultimately a person has within themselves some kind of capital, some kind of asset, like knowledge or confidence. And if we can help bring that out, they then carry that asset with them to the next difficulty in life.”
“About two-thirds of… all community-college students are placed into one or more remedial math classes, and unless they pass those classes, they can’t graduate. More than two-thirds of them don’t pass; instead, they often drop out of college altogether.”
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