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Who are Achievement Advocate volunteers and how are they selected?

Achievement Advocate volunteers are very special people. They care about students and are willing to invest time and attention in helping them succeed. An Advocate must be over 21 years of age and feel they have the life experiences, skills, and respect for children necessary to be the online coach for a promising child.

Advocates come to the program from a variety of sources including associations, alumni groups, retired professional organizations, employees of corporate sponsors, and service organizations. They also independently inquire and sign on, separate from any organization, because they heard about the program and have a desire to help students achieve. All Advocates have ready access to the technology necessary to be consistently online with their students.

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What are the qualifications to be an Achievement Advocate volunteer?

  • You must agree to a confidential criminal background check. The safety of children is the programís highest priority, therefore criminal background checks are conducted for every volunteer Advocate.
  • You must be 21 years of age or older.
  • You must be willing to spend approximately 1-2 hours per week responding to students and participating in activities with them. You will act as an Advocate to 1-5 students with 3 students being the norm.
  • You must communicate via email with the Educator at least twice per month to give an assessment of student progress.
  • You must be willing to review and use all online training materials provided in the Advocate Support Area.
  • You must be capable and professional in exchanges with students and use proficient writing skills.
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How are students selected?

Students are selected by their teachers and parents to participate in the program. The program is intended to be part of an after school enrichment program in either a school, a community center, or a library program. Some students will also be logging on from home. Initially, students selected will be in the 5th-6th grades and deemed bright but in need of extra adult support to excel. Focusing on life and goal-setting skills, Achievement Advocate volunteers help these students with promise turn potential into real achievement.

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How many students will I have and what can we do together in Cyberspace?

You will initially be assigned three students to coach. After some experience with the program, this number will be adjusted upward or downward to match your needs. Careful matching will be done to ensure that you are matched with students with whom you share interests. Together you will send regular messages to one another. As a studentís Advocate, you will review all of their online writing activities including their comments on books theyíve read, news stories, life lessons, and Steps to Success profiles. You will also review how they are setting and meeting goals, updating their calendars, and with their permission their on-line journal entries. As their personal coach, you will respond to their ideas and questions and encourage their steps toward achieving their goals. You will also be able to guide them to maximize local upcoming opportunities. Staff Educators from your studentís community will give you information on community activities that can help you lead your student. Finally, you will make sure that your students receive achiever points for all of their completed activities from setting and meeting a goal for the week to answering a book report prompt.

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What training and support do I receive?

Once you become an Advocate, you will have full access to the volunteer Advocate resources on this web site. Via online training materials, you will receive a comprehensive introduction to the joys and challenges of online mentoring. You will also receive frequently updated tips and troubleshooting ideas. As a volunteer Advocate, you will participate in the Advocates forum and bulletin board to share experiences and ideas with other coaches. You will also receive support from the Educator assigned to you and your group of students. This professional Educator will assist you in problem solving and monitoring student activities and progress. At least twice per month you will send the Educator an email about studentsí progress, express concerns, and ask any questions you have. The Educator also sends Advocates background material about their studentsí geographic areas with local resources that will be helpful for you to use when advising students. Directing students to viable local opportunities is an important Advocate function.back to the top


How will I know how well each student is doing?

Your time is valuable. We have taken great lengths to make sure you can quickly get an overview of what your students have accomplished since you were last online. When you log on, you can access each studentís chart to see immediately what new activities have been completed. Using this unique interactive student profile grid, you can select any new item and review and respond to studentsí new work. You can click on your students' name and see a complete listing of all their activity responses. Then, it's your turn.back to the top


What if I have difficulties working with my student?

We want to take care of any problems quickly. If your student is obviously having difficulties responding or just is absent for more than a week at a time, you are asked to contact your assigned Educator. The Educator finds out what is causing the problem and will get back to you. It might simply be a case when the schoolís computer lab is down and the student cannot get online. Likewise, if you feel you just donít seem to have much in common with a student and donít work well together, you should contact the Educator for guidance. back to the top


What are the requirements to be a professional Educator?

  • You will be responsible for overseeing and supporting the Advocate volunteers assigned to you. You will help them by providing information about the studentsí local area and problem solving any difficulties between students and Advocates. When necessary, you will update studentsí teachers and parents on his or her progress.
  • You must be willing to spend approximately 4 hours per week communicating via email with assigned Advocates and reviewing student email and activity responses. You will also be requested to communicate with program directors as necessary for program development or research data purposes.
  • You must have training and experience in areas such as education, counselling, career coaching, distance learning etc.
  • You must agree to a confidential criminal background check. The safety of children is the programís highest priority, therefore criminal background checks are conducted for each program volunteer and educator.
  • You must be 25 years of age or older.
  • You must have a personal or school-based email and Internet access account.
  • You must communicate via email with program directors as necessary.
  • You must be willing to review and contribute when possible to all online training materials provided in the Advocate Support Area.
  • You must be capable and professional in exchanges with assigned Advocates, parents, students, and staff.
  • Apply now!
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Is the Educator a volunteer or paid position?

The Educator position is a part-time compensated position. After your application is reviewed and you are accepted into the program, you will be contacted by program directors. Together you will discuss possible team assignments and a compensation package that is tailored to your assignment. Apply now and make a difference.back to the top


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