Introduction: Problem Statement
There is unsettling evidence that too many U.S. students are failing to develop a level of competence in reading comprehension, writing, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields of study (Graham, & Perin, 2007; Harackiewicz, Rozek, Hulleman & Hyde, 2012). Academic research on education has elucidated the importance of these skills, which are foundational to student’s overall scholastic success, and their future economic potential (Graham, 2006; Hanushek, Peterson & Woessmann, 2012). What’s more, in recent decades the U.S. has experienced stagnation in progress towards closing the academic achievement gap, with many negative implications ...view middle of the document...
Thus, the degradation of educational opportunities and attainment affects both national expenditures and international competitiveness (Kyllonen, 2013; Carnegie Council, 2010; Peterson, Woessmann, Hanushek, & Lastra-Anadón, 2011). After all, Learning Now is Earning Later.
A basal element of the problems listed above is access to resources. It is doubtless that money, cash, credit, or currency, is an important element of the problem, but research has provided substantive evidence of the toll these troubles levy on the economically poor, and poorly educated, cannot be assuaged by monetary resources alone. A bevy a of diverse form of capital are required to adequately address these problems, particularly human, intellectual, social and of course, economic capital. According to sociology theorist Pierre Bourdieu and James Coleman, social capital is the accumulation of resources, whether concrete or prospective. Furthermore, both argue that social capital is significantly allied to the possession of durable networks/communities. These networks foster the institutional interdependence that is the foundation, or framework on which society is built (Bourdieu, 1985; Coleman, 1988, Siisiainen, 2003). Intellectual capital, the invaluable intangible assets, which generate innovations that translate into products and corporate success (Stewart & Ruckdeschel, 1998; Subramaniam & Youndt, 2005).
At Students of Strength we ardently believe that by pooling together enough people, we can find most, if not all the resources needed to provide the level of access required to achieve quantifiable improvements in academic attainment.
“We are an academic service provider offering specialized tutoring, academic mentoring, & college advising services.”
We are Students of Strength and our theory of change can disrupt the current system by inclusively delivering high quality academic services that are imperative to the well-being of all students. Our aim is to offer students an equitable chance to challenge themselves, learn indispensable strategies for tackling intricate academic problems, and ultimately, an opportunity to better their communities, our country, and maybe even the world. Specifically, we empower young scholars via tutoring (strategy training), academic mentoring (individual guidance), and college advising (planning & organization).
As confident as we are in the efficacy of our paradigm, we are equally circumspect of those who quixotically believe they can go it alone. We know the academic achievement gap is too deep-rooted and complex to mitigate via unilateral organizational action. To effectively usurp inefficient, stalling institutions, a conglomeration of agents must act in concert, each contributing their distinct value to the common cause of societal transformation by disruption. It is not only about generating and delivering resources to those who have gone un-served, but also requires the recipients to concomitantly be...