Higher Academia is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 with the sole mission of empowering youth and their families through education, mentoring, and tutoring; our programs are developed to motivate and support the achievement of academic excellence and social responsibility through building of self-esteem and educational competence. Homework assistance, tutoring (individual subjects), snacks, and mentorships are the primary avenues we use to ensure academic success of our students who are challenged due to the economic and health crisis.
As many of you know, the face of our nation’s educational system has been changed by the pandemic. At-risk students need help now more than ever. Higher Academia remains committed to nurturing the academic, imagination, social, and creative side of our children to accomplish our objectives while abiding by NC DHHS guidelines.
In Polk County, we currently operate a Community Learning Support Center (PCCLC) on the Polk County Early College High School campus in Columbus, North Carolina. By partnering with other non-profit organizations, we provide safe learning spaces with internet access where middle or high school students can complete their schoolwork while receiving learning support from our tutors and volunteers. The PCCLC is open Monday-Thursday from 3-6 p.m. during the school year. Most students are recommended by Polk County School District counselors; however, we will accept referrals from other sources, as well. The site follows all current health and safety guidelines, and all volunteers complete a thorough screening and background check by the Polk County School District.
The tutoring focuses on a specific task or subject and allows the student to experience a different kind of learning to potentially reach new skill and confidence levels. Additionally, we offer parents training and communication tools that help them effectively participate in the education process. With the parents’ permission, our tutors regularly share their observations with the student’s teachers and inquire about ways to support the teachers’ lesson plans while working with the student.
Our goals are to change the trajectory of a child’s life by bringing children into the program at a young age and retaining them through college, providing comprehensive resources to meet their educational and developmental needs at each stage of their journey. Programming areas include: literacy skills, tutoring, mentoring, recreation, arts & cultural activities, leadership development, ACT/SAT prep, college and scholarship application support, scholarships, job readiness training, and personal support throughout their college education.