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Thursday, June 13, 2024

GED holders get free educational services at Santa Fe

Any GED-holding student in his or her first semester at Santa Fe College is now eligible for free tutoring, mentoring and seminars through the Pathways to Persistence program.

The three-tiered program focuses on mentoring, tutoring and seminars. Each student starts with ten hours of tutoring, and additional hours are added as necessary.

Dan Rodkin, director of Student Life at SFC, said free tutoring is provided throughout the student’s first semester. Additional tutoring programs are available for successive semesters.

Tutor Matching Services, a Gainesville start-up company that uses a Facebook application to match students with tutors, is arranging the tutoring and mentoring for SFC.

Rodkin said there are 23 registered mentors and more than 100 tutors in the system.

Dr. Angela Long, student life and activities coordinator, said 40 percent of the GED population at SFC drops out in the first semester. She said the first couple weeks of the pilot program are critical to the success rates of these students since most drop out within the first two weeks.

SFC Student Body President Austin Brinza said he wants to see the program implemented throughout Florida and eventually throughout the country.

“It’s not just about Santa Fe,” he said. “If it works here, then it should work throughout the state.”

The pilot project, Pathways to Persistence, is based on a proposal presented to U.S. Undersecretary of Education Dr. Martha Kanter and to the U.S. Department of Education policy analysts in late July.

Currently, the program functions as the local model. The second phase is a state model, and the third is a national model.

The group plans to show the success rates of Pathways to Persistence at the end of the fall semester to receive further funding for the project. The pilot program is funded by SFC.

“This program has the potential to improve the status quo, and should it receive funding, could serve as a model program,” Rodkin said.

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