The Pulaski Technical College Foundation has received a $40,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to expand students' access to free tutoring and other academic support services through its Learning Assistance Center.
"As an employer and a leading financial services institution, Bank of America has a vested interest in supporting educational initiatives that will produce a knowledgeable and skilled workforce," said Donnie Cook, Little Rock Market President, Bank of America. "We are proud to support Pulaski Technical College's Learning Assistance Center, which provides tutoring services to help students address their critical needs."
Pulaski Tech's Learning Assistance Center provides a much-needed resource for students to improve academic skills through free tutoring, workshops and access to computers and instructional materials. Student visit the lab to work on assignments, participate in online classes, access the Internet, research databases and get tutoring. The center also offers one-hour workshops at no cost to students on topics such as proofreading, thesis statements, fractions and logarithms. Professional tutors staff the center from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and additional tutoring services are available online for students completing assignments at home or off campus.
Last year, the center provided tutoring or other services to 1,847 students, totaling 4,438 visits and 5,855 hours. With Pulaski Tech's growing enrollment, now at 11,947 students, as many as 2,500 students are expected to visit the Bank of America Learning Assistance Center during the 2011-2012 academic year.
"With more students come more needs," said Joyce Taylor, executive director of the Pulaski Technical College Foundation. "With budget constraints and without outside support, these improvements in services to students would happen much more slowly or not at all."
Bank of America's most recent gift will enable the college to expand the Supplemental Instruction program and update technology in the computer lab.
"We know that students who use the Learning Assistance Center are more likely to be successful," said Rhonda Carroll, director of Pulaski Tech's Learning Support Services. "They feel more empowered to overcome academic challenges and more able to stay in college, complete their courses and graduate with a degree."
The Learning Assistance Center currently has a director, two full-time staff members and several part-time tutors, supplemental instruction leaders, tutors and lab assistants. The number of supplemental instructors will increase from 17 to 25 this year, and the number of supplemental instruction tutoring and study sessions will increase from 28 per semester to 40 per semester.
Supplemental instructors are Pulaski Tech students who have excelled in their coursework and are then trained by Learning Assistance Center staff to assist students with study skills and to conduct one-on-one and group tutoring sessions.
The center also has an up-to-date computer lab, outfitted with customized software tools that students need for college work. Computer use is restricted to assignments, research, educational software and distance education.
Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is delivering on a 10-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2010, making the bank one of the largest corporate cash donors in the United States. As a global company doing business in more than 150 countries, Bank of America approaches investing through a national strategy under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Reaffirming a commitment to develop and sustain a culture of service, bank associate volunteers contributed more than one million hours in 2010 to enhance the quality of life in their communities worldwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.