SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. — Penn State Schuylkill has launched the Penn State Homework Hotline, a free tutoring service to students in participating local school districts. The community program is based on the very successful Homework Hotline program at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) in Terra Haute, Indiana.
Students in grades six to 12 with questions about math homework or concepts can call and speak to a college student who is trained to tutor math and has acquired all of the required clearances to work with children. The hotline is open Sunday through Thursday evenings throughout the school year from 6 to 9 p.m. Tutors are available to assist with general math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus and statistics. The tutors will guide the students through the process of solving the problem, so that the students will learn how to complete similar problems on their own.
This method has been very successful at RHIT, with the website indicating that more than 98 percent of the students who call the hotline indicating that the tutors helped them understand how to complete the problems, and the same percentage would call the hotline again.
"We are thrilled to launch the Homework Hotline in Schuylkill County,” said Kelly M. Austin, chancellor at Penn State Schuylkill. “With the significant growth in careers that require training and education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, it is increasingly important that we provide the right foundation of knowledge before college. This program will support middle school and high school students, strengthening their proficiency in the STEM fields, and preparing them for the jobs of today and tomorrow."
The program at Penn State Schuylkill is a partnership between the offices of Academic Affairs, Continuing Education and the Academic Resource Center.
“We are very excited to see the implementation of the Homework Hotline in Schuylkill County,” said Darcy Medica, director of Academic Affairs. “I traveled to the Rose-Hulman Institute last spring and was very impressed with the energy and excitement of the tutors and the outreach that the program provides to local middle and high school students. We look forward to expanding the program to additional STEM fields and Penn State campuses across the Commonwealth.”
Penn State Berks, Hazleton and New Kensington are also providing this service in their respective geographic areas.
The following public school districts in the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 have elected to participate in the program: Blue Mountain; Mahanoy Area; North Schuylkill; Pottsville Area; Saint Clair; Schuylkill Haven Area; Shenandoah Valley; Tamaqua; Tri-Valley; and Williams Valley. Participating non-public schools include: Assumption BVM; Marian Catholic; Nativity BVM.; Saint Ambrose; Saint Jerome Regional; Saint Joseph for Special Learning; Saint Nicholas; and Trinity Academy.
The Homework Hotline opened for business Oct. 2. The phone number for the hotline is 570-385-6500. For questions about the program, contact Darlene Young, math specialist and program coordinator, at 570-385-6056, or Megan Felty, Homework Hotline supervisor, at 570-385-6142 or email@example.com.
Sunday through Thursday
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
grades 6 to 12
The Penn State Schuylkill Homework Hotline, in partnership with Penn State Berks and Penn State New Kensington, is to support middle and high school students in participating Schuylkill County area school districts* in building their math skills by providing FREE, easily accessible, friendly, and quality assistance.
This hotline is modeled after a program that was successfully implemented nearly twenty-six years ago by the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) in Indiana.
Students in grades 6 through 12 can call in with questions in the following subject areas:
- General math
Penn State Schuylkill HOMEWORK HOTLINE TUTORS will jump right in to ASSIST student callers with their math homework. No...they won't do their homework for them, but they will help clarify where the student is having trouble, and will help guide them to arrive to the correct answer themselves.
Here is what to expect from the tutor when calling in to the hotline:
- "Thank you for calling the Homework Hotline at Penn State Schuylkill. This is (first name). May I ask what school you attend?"
- "What level of math are you working on?"
- "What do you have a question on this evening?"
The following school districts participate in the Homework Hotline:
- Assumption B.V.M.
- Blue Mountain Area
- Mahanoy Area
- Minersville Area
- North Schuylkill
- Pine Grove Area
- Pottsville Area
- Saint Ambrose
- Saint Clair Area
- Schuylkill Haven Area
- Shenandoah Valley
- Tamaqua Area
- Williams Valley
All Penn State youth programs have policies in place to ensure the safety of its participants are not compromised. All Homework Hotline staff are trained in protocols to protect youth, as well as in all relevant internal and external reporting requirements and have the appropriate state and federal clearances to work with minor children.
Parents are encouraged to notify the Homework Hotline supervisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-385-6142 immediately if they, or their child, are experiencing problems or difficulties, or have concerns about the program and/or staff. You may also contact Sandy Weaver, youth programs compliance specialist, at email@example.com or 814-865-8785 or call the Penn State University Ethics Hotline at 800-560-1637.
The Pennsylvania State University is licensed by RHIT to utilize this program, but all rights, title and interests in and to the program, including intellectual property rights, are owned by RHIT.