By Joseph Nemec
Sometimes when freshmen first arrive at high
school, they are unprepared for the academic
rigors of courses.
Struggling silently can lead to not getting the
assistance necessary to succeed at school. Enter
The Academic Intervention Mentor program is designed to partner freshman who need a little extra
help in certain subject areas with knowledgeable upperclassmen.
Counselors identify students that would benefit from tutoring and during study halls these students
meet with tutors every Wednesday in the Learning Enrichment Center (LEC).
There, they receive one-on-one assistance with a tutor who has mastered the specific, problematic
Tutors are supplied from the ranks of the National Honor Society chapter. Members participate in the
program as an ongoing service project for the school.
AIM was started by Assistant Principal Chris Westman. However the program has evolved over the
years since its creation, most notably when it became part of the new LEC in 2012.
“In reflection last year we decided to have the LEC open on Wednesday just for AIM,” Director of the
LEC Dr. Theresa Shaffer said.
This year, several changes have been made to make the program more effective for the students.
This year all students now met in the LEC. Previously, students would meet in available rooms all
over the school.
“This was hard to manage and to make sure the time spent was on actually tutoring,” Director of the
LEC Dr. Theresa Shaffer said.
Because of these changes, not only has the quality of the instruction received improved, but also this
year AIM began to accept non-freshmen students who can benefit from the program.
This allows all students to make the fullest use of the tutoring resources the AIM program has to
AIM allows a different type of learning to take place that does not always happen in the classroom.
“Peer tutors can say the same thing and for whatever reason the light bulb goes off and they get it,”
The AIM program seeks the wisest students to help tutor other students, mainly because student on
student tutor is more effective than having a teacher or an adult tutor the student.
Student on student tutoring allows for a more productive and efficient atmosphere, because student
tutors can relate to the other students troubles understanding a subject and teach them in a faster
amount of time.
“Whether it’s an authority issue, whether it’s a teacher student dichotomy, it gets broken down when
it goes peer to peer.”
It is a different style of teaching and therefore it helps students who also have a different style of
The program does not only impart benefits onto tutee though. Tutors gain important skills in
applying knowledge and teaching abilities.
“I now know how to teach in an effective manner and communicate well with other students,” junior
Danny Garcia said.
They also gain a sense of satisfaction for the service performed.
Eagles do not push other Eagles down, they lift them up and the AIM program is the National Honor
Society’s way of doing so.
Fundamentally, AIM’s purpose is to support students. It is a support network which allows students
to practice and improve their academics, helping individual students to survive in a harsh college
prep landscape, and helping to increase the entire school’s academic profile.