Tulane students tutor high school students in Advanced Placement courses in New Orleans public schools, with the ultimate goal of providing the younger students with the tools and skills needed to succeed in college.
In the AdvanceNOLA program of the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, approximately 35 Tulane students are tutors at Cohen, Karr, Sci High, Sci Academy and Walker schools.
“Studies show that students of color who take AP exams are 3 to 4 times more likely to graduate from college than their peers,” says Tierra Jolly, programming graduate assistant at the Cowen Institute. Jolly also is a Tulane PhD student in history.
AdvanceNOLA, in its third year, measures its success “by looking at the number of AP courses offered in each partner school, the number of students enrolled in AP courses, and the number of students who apply to college,” says Emily Remington, program manager of college readiness initiatives at the Cowen Institute.
Joshua Schoop, a graduate student in the Payson Center for International Development and a Jones Scholar at the Cowen Institute, works with the AP coordinator at Cohen High School, where AP literature and statistics courses are offered for the first time, with 20 Cohen seniors enrolled.
“The Cohen students have benefitted from interacting with the Tulane volunteers who have experience taking AP exams,” says Schoop. “They are building relationships with college students, which helps them to envision themselves in a university.”
Schoop confesses that even though he took an AP English class when he was in high school he didn't earn any credit because he didn't take the test.
He says, “I have shared this with our students [at Cohen], and they have promised that they will all be taking the test.”