About the Program
Students at the University of Rhode Island have been serving as mentors and tutors in the public schools since 1998 as part of the Mentor/Tutor Internship Program (MTI@URI). The MTI program since its founding has sought to give students the opportunity to learn firsthand through an internship in the public schools about the challenges and obstacles to education policy and administration. In this course students mentor or tutor children in the public schools or adult literacy/citizenship programs in Rhode Island and discuss education policy and problems. The course provides benefits for both the community, children/adults in the public schools and URI students. While URI students get experiential learning that makes them more informed citizens and enables them to think critically about education policy, the community gains needed volunteers in the schools who can serve as role models for students who would otherwise rarely (if ever) come into contact with someone pursuing a college degree. In this course students will discuss critical issues within education policy including the effectiveness and controversy over charter schools, school segregation, how best to evaluate teachers, and the challenge of educating second language learners among other topics while witnessing these issues in person through their internship.