October News from Americans Helping Americans® Creating futures with our tutoring program!

Tutors at West Virginia Career and Technology Center Provide Students With a Hand Up

Thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® our partner in West Virginia, Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA), is able to provide tutors to students at the McDowell County Career and Technology Center (MCCTC).

The students work on computers at their own pace and the tutors assist them when they need help. In addition, BCPIA co-executive director Dyanne Spriggs adds, “We also work on Credit Recovery to help kids pass a class that they need to graduate.”

Students have a wide variety of programs to choose from, including automotive technology, building maintenance, coding apps and game design, computer systems/hardware support, early childhood education, law and public safety, licensed practical nursing, small engine repair, welding, and more.

“Students form close bonds with their tutors and feel more comfortable telling them things that they maybe wouldn’t tell their teacher,” says Dyanne. “Besides officially tutoring the students, the tutors also mentor them and provide for some of their basic needs when possible.”

The Origins of the Tutoring Program

In 2010, MCCTC school counselor Katie Linkous noticed that some of the students at the career and technology center were deficient in basic math and reading skills. After reaching out to BCPIA, together, they arranged a partnership to fill the need for remedial courses.

This led individual career and technical course assistance, pre-preparation for pre- and post- National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) testing, assistance with OSHA-10 (offering 10 hours of training for all construction and general industry professionals) and WIN online learning for earning a ready-to-work credential for jobs across occupations and industries.

“NOCTI, OCHA-10 and WIN learning are all recognized nationwide and provide credentials that are transferable across multiple careers, opening up many options for our students in the workforce,” said Katie, who noted that the tutoring program has been running for 10 consistent years without pause.

“While changes always take place in education such as student and staff requirements, one thing that has not changed has been steadfast because of hope that our tutoring program offers.”

Tutor Profile: Rosy Moore

“It is our goal to offer help to all students,” commented Katie. “A key player in our tutoring program has been Rosy Moore. She has been with us since the program’s inception and has her own special way of assessing the who student.

“She reaches out to not only meet academic needs, but to boost esteem, provide encouragement, and just lend a listening ear to the pressures of academics.

“There have been several other tutors who have worked with Rosy throughout the years and she does a great job leading each one.

“Rosy is genuine, compassionate and unchanging.”

Success Story: Jennifer Shelton

In 2018-2019, 99 percent of student scores increased from pre-NOCTI benchmark tests in the fall, followed by an audit post-test in the spring prior to the student completing the program. Five of these students received a Governor’s Workforce Credential for meeting such high standards.

"Test scores and academic achievement within McDowell County’s Career and Technical Center are higher due to our tutoring program," reports Katie. "Many of our students have gone on to college, to the military, or directly into the workforce as credentialed employees."

Among the success stories is the MCCTC’s graduation speaker in 2019, Jennifer Shelton. Jennifer completed the practical nursing program and went on to become an RN then earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) which are typically given more responsibility, supervisory roles and higher salaries.

Jennifer is currently completing classes to become a nurse practitioner and has chosen to stay in McDowell County now working at a local health clinic in a supervisory position.

“She is just one of many success stories.”

To support these and even more educational success stories, please give to Americans Helping Americans®. Your gift, regardless of the amount, helps us provide a future for Appalachian youths just like Jennifer!