Biden administration seeks 250,000 mentors in new Student Success effort

The Department of Education is hoping colleges can aid in initiative to combat learning loss, address mental health.

The U.S Department of Education has announced a partnership that will tackle learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is seeking help from institutions of higher education.

“Now—more than ever—students need to feel supported, seen, heard and understood by adults in their schools and communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

President Biden urges schools to use the $122 billion in funds provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to invest in strategies that will help support students’ academic recovery from the pandemic. As steps are being taken to do so, Americans can now serve their communities by becoming tutors and mentors to help make up for classroom time that was lost due to COVID.

The DOE is teaming up with organizations to launch the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS) to provide exceptional tutoring services and other mentoring programs by recruiting 250,000 new tutors. The alliance will allow school districts, non-profits and universities to recruit and send trained adults to serve as success coaches, mentors, tutors and more.

Colleges and universities, for example, can support this effort by signing up to work with schools and other community organizations and provide post-secondary students with the opportunity to serve and mentor K-12 students.

“Today’s announcements and the launch of the National Partnership for Student Success will mean more students have a trusted adult in their corner, and more adults are prepared to address students’ academic, emotional, social and mental health needs,” said Cardona.

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The DOE also plans to expand on practices that support academic and mental health recovery efforts. For one, the Best Practices Clearinghouse will share successful evidence-based policies implemented by school districts intended to support learning recovery and student mental health.

In addition, school districts are being called on to empower parents and communities by being transparent about how federal funds are being used to support their students, a result of the department’s launch of the National Parents and Families Engagement Council last month to promote and encourage powerful relationships between schools and parents.

Micah Ward
Micah Ward
Micah Ward is a University Business staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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