BrainBoost Education helps students reach goals

Study Coach Justin looking in front of the wall of organization

Many parents want their kids to take Math, English or Science credits online, but they're worried that self-paced courses might pose organizational or motivational challenges for their son or daughter.

Supported online courses, like those offered at BrainBoost Education, provide an ideal solution to this problem. They provide scheduling/organizational support and supplementary instruction, all the while giving students the independent study and focus skills they need to succeed in the "real world."

At BrainBoost, students begin by selecting courses from one of the 55 distance schools that operate throughout B.C. These schools accredit standard high school courses such as Math 10, Chemistry 11 or English 12. These credits are identical to those earned at "regular" high schools.

Once they’ve chosen a class, they either decide to work in a small group class with a group of students who are taking the same course, or in our study space, where they are supported by a team of tutors and study
coaches.


Mark Roberts, small group class teacher, responds to a question in class

For some students, this new approach can change their academic life. Grade 12 student, Ali, reports: “I took Math 10 and 11 at BrainBoost. When I began, I was trying really hard to pass math, and if I even passed it, I was really happy about that.” Ali did her distance course in a small group class and “it really worked my brain. I got an A in Math 11 and it blew my mind. I’ve struggled my whole life with math and now I finally understand it.”

Not all BrainBoost students take group classes at to achieve their goals. Other students work with tutors and in the BrainBoost study space to complete their online courses. This approach succeeds because of
the balance between support and independence that permeates the space. Study Coach, Kevin Rowe, says, “We want students to own their work. We want them to see that they are ultimately responsible to get their work done. But at the same time, we give them support with scheduling and goal setting, giving feedback on their work, and helping them to understand the content.”

Study Coach, Ivey Drugge, supports students by helping them look into the future – a challenge for the most together teen. “I want them to understand the consequence of something that they’re doing now, and how it’s going to affect them down the line.” Kevin adds that “when kids start to see that they can do it on their own, they rely less on someone else.”

Helping a student achieve that independence requires careful teaching of study and content skills. Kevin explains “when students begin at BrainBoost they need more guidance with the steps of problem solving: contacting teachers, setting an agenda, creating and monitoring a timeline.” But over time the support allows students to blossom: “students that have been here for several years have developed the metacognitive skills they need. They can set their own agenda and complete their work on their own.”

All of this results in more capable kids, who feel supported as they work at their own pace through distance courses. Graeme, 17, benefits from a supported environment, and appreciates how study coaches check in:

“They’re always asking me, ‘How are you? Do you need help right now?’” At the same time, Ali truly benefits from the supported independence.

“I set my own goals, and the BrainBoost team sees them and helps me reach them.”

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