Program

Jun 10, 2010

OVERVIEW

The West
Philadelphia Tutoring Project (WPTP) is a volunteer tutoring program for
elementary and middle school students. College students serve as tutors for
children during the entire school year. Results of a randomly assigned
experimental evaluation showed that there were no significant impacts on math or
reading scores, school attendance, or perception of ability for the children
participating in WPTP.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Elementary and middle school students

The West
Philadelphia Tutoring Project (WPTP) is a tutoring program run by the Civic
House at the University of Pennsylvania that uses university students as
volunteer tutors. Students are tutored one-on-one for approximately one hour
per week during the school year. Tutors are supervised and mentored by
University of Pennsylvania staff, but they participate in minimal pre-service
training. There are approximately 300 tutors and 15 team leaders making up the
program. A tutoring program for high school students is available and consists
of in-classroom and outside of classroom work in one-on-one and group
situations.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Ritter, G. W., &
Maynard, R. A. (2008). Using the right design to get the “wrong” answer?
Results of a random assignment evaluation of a volunteer tutoring programme. Journal of Children’s Services, 3(2), 4-16.

Evaluated population:  Three hundred eighty five poorly performing
students (as noted by teachers) from 11 elementary schools in Philadelphia.
Approximately 47% of the sample was female and 96% of the sample was African
American. Forty percent of the students were in fourth grade, while second,
third, and fifth grade students made up the remainder of the sample. Sixty-two
percent of the students were in a home receiving welfare assistance and 34% were
in a home with both their mother and father. During the year prior to this
evaluation, the students earned an average grade of C minus for both math and
reading.

Approach:
Students were randomly assigned to receive tutoring services during one or both
semesters of the school year or were assigned to a control group. Students were
assessed on reading and math test scores and grades, perception of ability, and
school attendance.

Results: At
the end of school year follow-up, there was no significant impact on reading or
math test scores or grades. There was no impact on perception of ability or
school attendance.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

http://www.dolphin.upenn.edu/wptp/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Philadelphia-Tutoring-Project/375293019499

References:

Ritter, G. W., &
Maynard, R. A. (2008). Using the right design to get the “wrong” answer?
Results of a random assignment evaluation of a volunteer tutoring programme. Journal of Children’s Services, 3(2), 4-16.

Program
categorized in this guide according to the following:

Evaluated
participant ages: 5-12

Program age ranges
in the Guide: Middle childhood, adolescence.

Program components:
Mentoring/tutoring

Measured outcomes:
Education and Cognitive Development

KEYWORDS:
Children, Adolescents, Elementary, Middle School, Co-ed, Black/African American,
High-Risk, Tutoring, Urban, Reading, Mathematics, Academic
Motivation/Self-Concept/Expectations, Academic Achievement.

Program
information last updated 6/10/10.