Support in Academics and Beyond

Tucked in the basement of the Academic Building, a team of Academic Support tutors works with Valor students day in and day out to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. Different from typical tutoring or academic remediation programs, Valor’s Academic Support team works proactively to identify students who may need help in a specific subject area and pairs them with an expert tutor. In addition, they implement accommodations for students with learning disabilites and offer courses for students who struggle with executive functioning skills.

One dozen team members – Dennis Burrage, Tyler Harrington, Nate Higgins, Nina Hinds, DaVinda Hsu, Michelle McFarland, Vicki Munderloh, Will Ostransky, Carolina Paulson, Chris Russo, Dianne Ward, and Lincoln Ward – are equipped to provide students with the academic support they need. Amongst the 12 full and part-time tutors, seven hold post-graduate degrees. Combined with their care for students’ well-being, these tutors are experts in empowering students academically. Chris Russo believes that students’ success starts with self-confidence,  saying, “Students can really shine when they are believed in, and what we love to do here is make sure to bring confidence to our students.”

Students who spend time on academic support can attest to its positive impact on their Valor experience. CJ Mote, Student Leadership Vice President of Academics, acknowledges that his time spent in tutoring is well worth it. He says, “I am grateful that I always have a time set aside for going over homework or concepts that I don’t understand. I know that every time I leave a session, I am going to walk away feeling more confident about a subject than when I come in.”

Each student who enters the Academic Support learning space is met with personalized care and a team of staff who care about them in the classroom and beyond. The team partners with teachers to ensure students are given the best opportunity for achieving success. Science Department Chair Becky Langer notes, “They consistently support what we are doing in the classroom. I also appreciate that they occasionally, and with love, push kids further than they thought they could go or call them out when they need to work harder.” The Academic Support team works with teachers to understand their curriculum and bridge the gap for students who fall behind. 

Will Ostransky, Academic Support Lead, captures the heart of the department, saying, “Our desire is that students not only leave their time with us feeling more empowered and confident in their academic ability but also encouraged and uplifted in their personal and spiritual lives.” Each student who enters the Academic Support learning space is met with personalized care and a team of staff who care about them in the classroom and beyond. 

If you are interested in learning more about Academic Support services, visit them in the basement of the Academic Building or email them.

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