Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

May 6, 2020

AT&T provides technology for the Instructional Center to support online tutoring

Michael B. Maine

How can you take a nationally recognized tutoring center serving over 5,000 UW students online with only days to prepare? When the University of Washington moved to remote classes in early March, the Instructional Center (IC) had to make some quick changes in order to continue assisting Educational Opportunity Program students throughout the Spring Quarter. The IC staff moved workshops and review sessions online using resources like UW’s Canvas and Zoom. This was a major lift and one that required quick action on the part of the staff to make their high-touch, in-person model- the IC uses -compatible with online learning.

When campus turned to remote learning, AT&T reached out to OMA&D to offer financial support. The most pressing need was for laptops and other technology such as document cameras that would allow IC instructors and tutors to ramp up their ability to work with students from home. To help meet this need AT&T donated $50,000 to help theInstructional Center purchase  laptops, remote learning equipment and other needed technology.

With the generous gift from AT&T the IC was able to meet the most immediate needs of students without skipping a beat.; delivering quality online resources including workshops and drop-in tutoring; course materials, recorded lectures; and answers to questions posted on discussion boards. The IC now offers daily workshops and has created a space for virtual one-on-one drop-in tutoring. Even though students miss the in-person community and look forward to returning to the physical space, one positive impact throughout these fast-paced changes, has been that without the limitation of space, the IC can hold even more workshops across all study areas each day.

Michael B. Maine

“We are so thrilled and grateful for this gift from AT&T.  With this generous gift we have purchased technology for our instructors to teach remotely, and support our students with virtual drop-in tutoring , academic workshops and review sessions.  This gift allows us to continue supporting our students in over 50 STEM courses, economics/accounting, writing across the curriculum. I am so grateful also to our talented instructors who quickly took our program online – in just the first three weeks of Spring quarter, our Canvas pages received over 100,000-page views.”  – Therese Mar, Director of the Instructional Center.

“At this critical time when our students need support we are thrilled that AT&T stepped forward to support OMA&D. Our instructors and tutors in the IC provide essential support and this technology allows the IC to continue to reach and serve our EOP students as they compete and thrive at UW”, states Vice President of OMA&D and UW Diversity Officer, Rickey Hall. “AT&T’s commitment to the University of Washington, OMA&D and the IC has been tremendous and we are excited to continue this great partnership.”

“AT&T is committed in our mission to advance education, strengthen communities and improve lives and know that the work of the OMA&D IC is furthering this mission to reach students and provide support. During these complex times we are grateful to continue our strong partnership with OMA&D to step in and provide support.” Says Karin Garrido, Vice President and General Manager at AT&T.

For over 40 years, OMA&D’s Instructional Center (IC) has been a national model for providing academic instruction and tutoring for thousands of underrepresented minority, first-generation and low-income students affiliated with OMA&D programs. Its unique and proven blend of services creates a sense of community and paves the way to the university’s most competitive majors, and ultimately, graduation and successful careers.

Serving OMA&D EOP students, the IC is staffed by 19 professional instructors and 40-50 student tutors who rotate throughout the year. Many student tutors are former IC users themselves. Together, this team creates a support structure through its holistic mentoring approach that sets students up for success. IC services include: Drop-in tutoring (one-on-one and small group sessions), workshops and review sessions, study skills seminars, professional and Graduate School admissions preparation courses, on-site writing center and a computer facility.

AT&T: through its community initiatives, has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $550 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.

We are proud to have AT&T as OMA&D’s Star 50th presenting sponsor for Celebration, OMA&D’s annual fundraising gala on May 12, 2021. Celebration is UW’s signature event to support diversity, and features the outstanding achievements, inspiring stories and academic success of our students, many of whom have used the Instructional Center.

To contribute to the Instructional Center please click here

For more information please contact Katherine at kdayhase@uw.edu