By Jason B. CutshawFebruary 2, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Soldiers and Family Members now have access to their own personal tutors, thanks to a new program.
Child, Youth and School Services offers free resources and tutoring for children of active and wounded Soldiers, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers, Army civilians and survivors, through Tutor.com.
Tutor.com is an online tutoring and homework assistance service for students. The service provides help to students 24 hours a day with homework, test preparation, educational resources and even term paper reviews in more than 16 academic subjects as well as Advanced Placement level and introductory college courses.
"This is a free service for military connected-students," said Terri Spencer, Fort Drum school liaison officer. "When we found out about it, we immediately started marketing as much as possible. And when we say it is free, everyone likes that.
"Since people have begun using the service, we have received a lot of positive feedback," she added. "The tutors online are always quick and responsive. They are very positive and will help the students until they understand the answers."
Once a student has an account, all he or she needs to do to receive help with either homework, studying for an exam or review class work is enter the grade level and subject. A tutor then connects with the student inside the secure online classroom. The student and tutor chat, draw problems on an interactive whiteboard, share a file to review essays and papers and browse educational resources on the Internet together. Sessions are saved so that students and parents can review them at any time.
Tutor.com works with a student's existing computer and Internet service provider. No special equipment or software is needed. It is available in English and Spanish.
"I think overall the program is great," Spencer said. "My daughter has used it, and it is a fun, interactive web site. It is also good for children of Soldiers who are deploying, (especially when) the one deploying is ... the parent who helps their children with their studies."
The program is available for students in elementary through high school and for those taking introductory college courses. Soldiers and Family Members returning to school or searching for a job also may use Tutor.com.
Subjects covered include elementary and mid-level math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus and statistics; elementary science, earth science, biology, chemistry and physics; elementary English, essay writing, book reports and grammar; social studies, American history, world history and political science.
There is also resume help, GED preparation and citizenship test help for adults using the service.
"One of the problems we have had in this office in the past is finding tutors to help the students on Fort Drum," said Michele Carlton, Fort Drum school liaison officer. "This program is helping to fill that need, and it is almost a perfect solution to that need.
"Also, we have people from other countries who are coming to the area and want to know what they can do to help them in the New York education system," she added. "This program is great, because it allows you to put in the state you are in and the education level you are aiming for. It will prepare you for the state you are residing in."
There are more than 2,000 screened, professional tutors. Tutors are certified teachers, college professors, undergraduates and graduate students from accredited universities and professionals. Tutors go through a rigorous application process, and each one completes a thorough background check.
"Not only do they have one-on-one tutors but also a resource library if a student needs to do research or study," Spencer said. "And the resource library is in all subjects offered."
Sessions are always anonymous and saved with random samplings reviewed by the staff for quality assurance. Parents and students with individual accounts may access their sessions at any time.
"The tutors will help you go to further educational web sites and help the students navigate to get to the correct information needed," Carlton said. "They are very helpful and make it a good experience for the students."
For more information about the program, go to www.myarmyonesource.com/cyss_tutor.