Prepare2Nspire, a tiered mentoring program aimed at improving math literacy for underserved students, recently launched a new website allowing participants, community members, and supporters to engage with the program. The program is directed by Lesa Clarkson, an associate professor in math education in the Department of Curriculum Instruction.
The tiered mentoring program trains University of Minnesota undergraduate students to mentor high school students, who in turn mentor 8th-grade students. The tiered mentoring system creates a community of support for math learners in groups historically underrepresented in the field, primarily females of color. Clarkson keenly felt the need for this community as she broke ground as the first African American person to earn a PhD in math education in Minnesota. She later won the President’s Community Engaged Scholar Award in 2018 for her work with the program.
The evaluation data show that students are more confident after participating in the program, more willing to ask questions during regular math class, and have significantly increased their math and test scores.
“We’re giving underrepresented students a voice,” says Clarkson.
Learn more about the work of the program, and its accomplishments to date by looking online at P2N.umn.edu.