Khan Academy Announces Winners in Phi Theta Kappa Tutoring Challenge

Six Phi Theta Kappa members have been named winners in the Khan Academy Tutoring Challenge. Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.”

The Khan Academy Tutoring Challenge was announced at Phi Theta Kappa’s 2014 Honors Institute and closed on September 12. A total of 354 students were tutored by 203 members representing 139 chapters. Those tutored mastered nearly 21,000 skills. Winners were selected based on short videos and written descriptions submitted about their experiences as Khan Academy coaches.

Winners of the challenge include

Elvira Avdeyeva – Tau Eta Chapter, Allen County Community College, Kansas

Sherri Dillon – Lambda Nu Chapter, Bronx Community College, New York

Scott Immel – Beta Mu Gamma Chapter, Solano Community College, California

Mina Jahan – Alpha Lambda Xi Chapter, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Texas

Ogulna Orazgeldiyeva – Iota Alpha Chapter, Trinity Valley Community College, Texas

Jeff Navarro – Beta Kappa Pi Chapter, Chaffey College, California

Honorable Mentions:

Brianna Ingemi, Alpha Chi Kappa Chapter, Nashua Community College, New Hampshire

Han Setiawan, Mu Tau Chapter, Lansing Community College, Michigan

Naomi Davidson, Manager of Education Partnerships for Higher Education at Khan Academy, said the winners received the opportunity to serve on an advisory council for Khan Academy, in addition to certificates and t-shirts. The council will help the organization think about best practices and help launch future initiatives.

Davidson said the Khan Academy website provides videos, choice of languages and closed captioning that help break down barriers to learning, helping students to help themselves.

“Khan Academy’s mission is one that aligns with Phi Theta Kappa. Both of our organizations are passionate about student success,” said Jennifer Stanford, Phi Theta Kappa’s Chief Student Engagement Officer. “Since many of our members serve as tutors on their campuses, Khan Academy’s resources are a wonderful tool for helping students build their skills as tutors while also using the opportunity to brush up on subjects they need as well.”

Here’s what some of the challenge winners had to say about the experience:

“The Phi Theta Kappa’s Khan Academy Tutoring Challenge was a lot of fun. I extended information of the tutoring service to all the incoming freshmen at my college,” said Sherri Dillon. “The hardest part was staying in contact with students, since it was summer break, but it was very helpful for me and those whom I have been able to reach.”

“The College Tutor Challenge has been such a wonderful and at the same time challenging experience. I really enjoyed being a tutor and a coach for students who have problems with math,” said Elvira Avdeyeva. “I love math! I’ve always loved it. I know that the majority of students have difficulties with mathematics, so coaching students and guiding them through Khan Academy has been a big pleasure for me.”

“Khan Academy should be the first stop in math learning endeavors. It is well structured with different exercises and videos by experts. Through Khan Academy Tutoring I have learned the importance of the digital world,” said Ogulnazik Orazgeldiyeva. “It is an amazing site where you can actually see your progress. Practicing various mathematical skills with my tutor helped me to succeed and go to the higher levels of math classes. It has encouraged my passion to do and learn more.”

“It proved quite a trial to motivate my cousins and siblings on their summer break to hop on a computer and do some math challenges. It’s simply not appealing for a kid who has gotten used to the idea of turning off brain functions during summer vacations,” said Mina Jahan. “However, after a few weeks, my recruited family members got into the habit of doing Khan Academy themselves. Theybegan to see its advantages and appreciate its flexible and student-tailored approach.”

Though the competition is over, Phi Theta Kappa members are encouraged to explore the resources available through Khan Academy.

“We encourage Phi Theta Kappa members to utilize Khan Academy for their studies – explore, sign up as coaches and use Khan as a tool to be a better tutor,” Davidson said.

Courtney Taylor, Associate Director of Institutional Advancement for the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, said the Khan Academy tutoring tools are perfect for students who serve as peer tutors and will also help members maintain high GPAs and complete their degrees.

“We’re so appreciative for Khan Academy’s approach to completion – providing tools to help students succeed,” Taylor said.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. Nearly 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 131,000 students inducted annually.

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