Minority Students in Action Teams Up with Eastern Suffolk BOCES to Tutor Students in Pathway Program

By Helen Edelman, manager, Exchange

March 25, 2016

MSiA LogoThrough a collaboration with Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Minority Students in Action, a student club, launched the MSiA * BOCES Pathway Program for adult literacy. Riverhead Unit Coordinator Ann Becker approached MSiA Faculty Advisor Erin Young about the possibility for the student group’s members volunteering as peer tutors at BOCES. Young and MSiA President Layla Abdullah-Poulos, a student, then began meeting with BOCES Administrative Coordinator for Literacy and CTE Audrey Gottlieb to structure a program that would benefit BOCES students, as well as MSiA members. They named the initiative MSiA * BOCES Pathway Program and began planning its execution.

The MSiA * BOCES Pathway Program's primary objective is to assist students in the BOCES TASC preparation program to prepare for the writing portion of the exam. Currently, the program affords ESC students the opportunity to work as volunteers or earn credit through a peer-tutoring course designed by Young.

Young and Abdullah-Poulos conducted a presentation of the Pathway Program for BOCES students on Feb. 22, where they were able to ask questions about program services. “It is our hope to be a part of you not only attaining your high-school equivalency diplomas, but to go beyond, if you choose to do so,” Young told BOCES students during her presentation.

The first in a series of MSiA * BOCES Pathway Program workshops and tutoring sessions was held on Feb. 27, at SUNY Empire State College’s Riverhead location, with great success. Abdullah-Poulos taught a workshop on digital literacy to prepare students for online interaction with the program's peer tutors.

“The ability for students and tutors to interact via a variety of digital platforms (e.g. email, social media, online learning environments) is essential to increasing accessibility and will help participants hone skills that are increasingly important to academic success in higher education,” explained Abdullah-Poulos.

After the digital literacy workshop, School for Graduate Studies student Tanya Thompson, who is taking the Peer Tutoring course as part of her MAAL, met students to assist them with completing their most recent writing assignments. Long Island location undergraduate student Kelly Schaeffer, who is also taking the Peer Tutoring course, will offer additional individual tutoring services on Monday evenings at BOCES. 

Information about the Pathway Program can be found on the Minority Students in Action website at http://sunyempiremsia.com/pathway-adult-literacy-program/(link is external).

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