National Tutoring Nonprofit Launches Free, Online Training to Help Scale Tutoring Programs

Drawing from its evidence-based tutoring program, Saga Education launches online coaching to help states and school districts to quickly train tutors to address unfinished learning

BOSTON, May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Saga Education, the national nonprofit behind one of the most studied personalized tutoring programs in the country, today announced the launch of Saga Coach, a free, self-paced online training portal that covers the essential components of effective tutoring. The training is based on Saga’s experience as a proven implementer of high-dosage, high-impact tutoring programs serving thousands of students in major U.S. school districts like Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Broward County, Fla. 

Research suggests that in the midst of the pandemic, students have learned just 87 percent of the reading and only 67 percent of the math that their grade-level peers learned during more typical years. As many schools plan for Summer and Fall 2021, states and district leaders are preparing to implement high-dosage tutoring programs to ensure students have additional support to make up for instructional time loss this past year. Saga Coach offers school leaders a unique, self-paced training program that can help them quickly prepare new tutors for this work at scale.

“State and district leaders know we must address the significant learning disruptions of the past year. Tutoring, when done well, can do more than help students catch up, it can help them thrive,” said AJ Gutierrez, co-founder of Saga Education. “Research by the University of Chicago shows that students can gain two-and-a-half years of math growth in one year through tutoring. Saga Coach brings the lessons we have learned to any organization, school district, or program looking to implement tutoring.”

Saga Coach’s interactive portal draws on Saga’s experience providing more than 2 million hours of tutoring. The online program offers 19 modules of self-paced training on key areas that make tutors successful, including building relationships with students and structuring an effective tutorial. Saga Coach is available on mobile devices and can be accessed anywhere, any time. As tutors progress, learning modules that make up Saga’s basic training are unlocked. Saga’s modules focus on three core topics essential for effective tutoring: relationship, ratio, and rigor.

The portal features an interactive dashboard, where tutors navigate through the different units at their own pace, capture reflections, view progress, and connect with the community of tutors going through the training.

“The challenges that school districts are facing when implementing high-dosage tutoring programs stem from the hiring and training process of new tutors, many of whom may not be trained educators,” said Krista Marks, Chief Product Officer at Saga Education. “By providing Saga Coach as a free, self-paced training platform, we hope organizations will use the platform to provide quality pre-service training for their tutors. The interactive course is designed to be engaging and to give tutor’s agency over the journey of learning the core skills of being a great tutor.”

Since 2013, the University of Chicago Education Lab has researched Saga Education’s intensive math tutoring model in Chicago Public Schools and in New York City, finding that it substantially improves academic outcomes for high school students. In two randomized controlled trials, students who received Saga tutoring learned as much as an extra two and a half years of math in one academic year – the equivalent to closing up to 50 percent of the black-white test score gap in one school year. The randomized controlled trials also found that Saga’s tutoring model reduced math course failure rates by 60 percent.

Learn more about Saga Coach.

About Saga Education
Saga Education is an evidence-based, personalized tutoring intervention designed to support students struggling with math, to give them the confidence and academic strength to graduate high school and pursue their dreams. In 2020, the organization was named to Fast Company’s prestigious list of the World’s Most Innovative Educational Companies, recognized for its evidence-based, scalable tutoring model which serves students in high-need schools.