Sunday, April 5, 2009

Introducing Kinetic Potential Mentoring and Learning System

Kinetic Potential Mentoring and Learning System (KPML) is a long-term life development program that reverse engineers the career development process for at-risk youth. Our organization is founded upon the core belief that every child has remarkable potential and that truly, no child should be left behind by our schools —academically, socially, or professionally. However, too often the potential of this country’s youth is never put into action and made “kinetic”. As a comprehensive program dedicated to the academic, social, and professional needs of students, KPML provides the roadmap for these kids, its KP Scholars, focusing these students on long-term career goals and motivating them daily through after and before school tutoring, workforce development workshops, summer internships, and an assortment of other out-of-school developmental activities.

The Kinetic Potential Mentoring & Learning System aims to galvanize students’ involvement with their own education and career goals. Through the creation and management of a virtual pipeline, KPML pairs students with KP Tutors, who provide individualized after-school tutoring and instruction in the core subject areas of math, reading, and language arts. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to create an individualized academic plan and distinct career pathway for each one of the program’s mentees, and our Computer Assisted Mentoring System (CAMS) is an instrumental component in ensuring that all students’ academic progress is directly linked to their long-term career aspirations and overall social well-being.

Every student entering our program is provided with an individual Learning Plan specifically geared to address that student’s unique skills, particular learning gaps, and generalsocial needs. KPML uses the Assessment of Student Achievement (ASA), a standardized,curriculum-based test, to initially gauge a student’s current academic levels in the areas of math, reading, and language arts. Results on this standardized assessment, as well as astudent’s scores on statewide assessments and his or her grades are collectively used to buildan entering portfolio for every future KP Scholar. This information, along side a brief initial survey gauging students’ interests, career plans, and attitudes toward school, provide KPML with a holistic view of a student’s current progress and helps us place students at the appropriate level of instruction, identify a starting point within our curriculum, determine course objectives, and generate each student’s individual prescriptive Learning Plan.

KP Scholars Tutoring, KPML’s tutorial program, runs after-school (and/or before school) for 1 hour sessions, every Monday through Saturday, though all participants will have access to the site’s multi-faceted academic, social, and career-planning features 24 hours aday, 7 days a week via a username and password log-in. Academic sessions of 8-10 studentseach will be led by a KP Tutor, who will utilize virtual white boards, online texts, 3 Dgraphics, and streaming video technology to facilitate every lesson. This dynamic virtual environment will provide KP Scholars with an Immersive Education experience, in which students can fully “drop into” to engage in a discovery-based learning environment where onelearns not simply by following but by actually doing. KPML’ cutting-edge technology engages students very much the same way video games reach out and grab kids’ attention. But unlike these games, KPML’ virtual environment fosters practical skills within kids, developing their math, reading, and language arts abilities in the process of steering them toward long-term professional goals.

Just as KPML’ technological innovations are top-notch so are our academic instructors. The program recruits its KP Tutors from the top Masters and Doctoral programs across the country. KP Tutors have received ample training in pedagogy, immersive education, and the basics of education policy amongst other subjects. As the KP Scholars program is delivered utilizing Web 2.0 technology, we are able to recruit instructorsthroughout the U.S., which provides us with a very large and highly-qualified labor pool forboth urban and rural geographies. Our target KP Tutor has 2-5 years of successful teaching experience and is not only passionate for student success but is also committed to providing all kids with equal education opportunities. In addition to the credentials they bring to the KPML program, all KP Tutors undergo a rigorous certification process that includes 40-hoursof intensive training. KP Tutors are adept at utilizing the KPML technology for its full effect in the virtual classroom and make sure students are fully engaged day-in and day-out. In addition to leading the weekly 1 hour sessions, all KP Tutors will be available a minimum 3 hours per week through virtual office hours in which students can post questions online or via e-mail.

This combination of immersive technology and committed, hands-on instructors means that KPML closely monitors each and every student entering the KP Scholars Tutoring program. Over the course of the school year, students will participate in the program a minimum of 2 times per week or as much as 5 times per week, depending on the individual student’s Learning Plan and current academic progress. The KPML program is designed to address the various academic needs of students who are below—or are at-risk of functioning below—grade level in the areas of math, reading, and language arts. At the close of every academic session, students will be re-assessed using an ASA post-test, which along side developments in a student’s state test scores and GPA, will be used to evaluate a child’s progress in the KPML program. This final evaluation report (as well as KPML’ monthly Progress Reports) will be sent to parents and appropriate school faculty/ staff electronicallyand/ or through standard mail. Mentors will assist this core group both academically, socially, and professionally in order to ensure these students are fully capable of attaining their career goals through college and beyond.
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