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Released November 05, 2004

STATEWIDE ONLINE TUTORING HELPS
STUDENTS PREPARE FOR COLLEGE

HATTIESBURG -The Mississippi GEAR UP program has selected SMARTHINKING as the statewide provider of live online tutoring for its students. Beginning in November, over 8,500 students from rural, urban and suburban schools across the state will have access to math tutors around the clock, an essay review service, and live tutoring in six other subjects.

"We carefully evaluated the online tutoring providers and selected SMARTHINKING," said The University of Southern Mississippi's Jennifer Phillips, tutoring and mentoring coordinator for GEAR UP Mississippi.

"Their experience, commitment to quality, and extensive services made the difference." SMARTHINKING's highly trained tutors will help Mississippi students as they do their homework, study for tests, write school and college application essays, and prepare for state assessments.

Mississippi GEAR UP students will have access to the only online math tutoring service staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students can also get personalized feedback on their writing from SMARTHINKING's Online Writing Lab, and get one-on-one help in English, statistics, economics, accounting, physics, chemistry, biology, and bilingual math.

Short for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, Mississippi GEAR UP gives students from seventh grade through high school the academic support and counseling they need to get ready for college. "These students are working hard to succeed in school and prepare for college," said Neil Allison, vice president of K-12 services at SMARTHINKING, Inc. "We're delighted to support them with live online tutoring, so they get the help they need, when they need it."

Over 80 percent of SMARTHINKING e-structors have a master's degree or Ph.D. in their discipline. SMARTHINKING projects that it will provide 300,000 tutoring sessions to 70,000 students in the 2004-05 academic year. In a survey of nearly 1500 users, 93 percent of students said they would recommend it to a friend; 73 percent said that use of SMARTHINKING improved their grades; and 92 percent said they would use the service again. Corroborating studies conducted by multiple clients confirm that the use of SMARTHINKING's services improves student performance.

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November 24, 2004 1:53 PM