Program Focus

Critical Questions

  • Why and for whom is this tutoring program needed?
  • How will these dimensions inform the partnerships needed across programs within your OST model, tutoring programs offered through the local school district, and/or other community-based organizations’ academic programming?
  • Who are the stakeholders from your organization that could engage in the program design?

Implementation Checklist

  • Understand the community strengths, resources, and needs through a landscape analysis and discussion with the schools and/or districts with whom you plan to partner (if applicable).
  • Complete the model dimensions questionnaire to determine which other programs/organizations will be beneficial partners.
  • Connect with stakeholders from your program, including parents and caregivers, and your district partner that could engage in the program design based on the answers to the model dimensions questionnaire.
  • Understand program costs and funding sources.
  • Choose a model design based on:
    • Feedback from the landscape analysis and school district partner
    • Evidence-based research on effective tutoring programs
    • The constraints of the context in which the program is operating
    • Answers to your model dimensions questions

Implementation Tools

Key Insights

Articulate the model dimensions based on a landscape analysis and understanding of your community’s needs. This foundational clarity will support program leaders to:

  • Make purposeful and consistent model design decisions aligned with the program’s value proposition.
  • Prevent mission creep and make decisions that serve the needs of the community.
  • Scale up quickly and make decisions about trade-offs without the program losing focus.

Design your program informed by research.

  • While opportunities for further research remain, a solid base of initial evidence can guide program design. The Tutoring Quality Improvement System self-assessment can be used to see how closely your program is aligned to research.
  • New programs lack impact data, but being able to highlight that specific model design decisions are based on research will help secure funding sources and build partnerships with school districts or other stakeholders.

Instead of trying to design a perfect program from the start, invest in opportunities for evaluating effectiveness and continuous improvement.

  • As one program leader shared, “You could spend three years trying to build the most perfect tutoring program, but our current mindset is: We need to do something now. We need to build in ways to quickly understand what is working (and not working) and quickly course correct.”