$3.5M Lilly Endowment Grant Continues Supporting Indiana Students in Grades 6-12 with ‘AskRose’ Homework Help Program

Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Students working in Rose-Hulman's Ask Rose Homework Help.

With Lilly Endowment Inc. support, AskRose will create dedicated Spanish-speaking tutoring hours and a pilot program, along with a new outreach program to get historically underserved students interested in STEM fields.

A $3.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will allow Rose-Hulman’s free AskRose Homework Help program to help more middle and high school students in Indiana, including historically underserved students, to excel in their math and science homework.

Rose-Hulman tutors are available Sunday through Thursday from 5-10 p.m. (Eastern Time) from early August through the middle of May each school year for free tutoring sessions by video, telephone call, email, or chat. Tutors can be accessed through the AskRose website, AskRose.org, or by calling 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673). 

“For more than 30 years, our AskRose program has been successful in helping Indiana students succeed in learning math and science, and we’re most appreciative of Lilly Endowment’s continued support of that mission,” said Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons. “Services provided by our homework help program are necessary more than ever as the math and science educational gaps in grades 6-12 have widened since the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Coons added, “AskRose also helps provide Indiana students with an aptitude and interest in math and science, and promotes valuable tools in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education that are necessities for the development of the highly skilled technical workforce required for Indiana’s economic future.”

Indiana Department of Education data suggests English as a Second Language (ESL) students are another highly impacted group of students. Based on this information, AskRose will hire bilingual students to create dedicated Spanish-speaking tutoring hours and pilot this concept with two schools.

This grant also will support a new outreach program that equips historically underserved students with additional resources to pursue STEM fields. The RoseSTEM college preparation program is designed to build a pipeline of highly prepared students for college through partnerships with high schools and Community-Based Organizations (CBO). Selected high schools and CBOs include:

  • Indianapolis – Center for Leadership Development, Minority Engineering Program, GEO Academies of Indianapolis, and Starfish Initiative
  • Chicago – Noble Charter Schools, Walter Payton Prep and Marian Catholic High School
  • Northwest Indiana – 21st Century Charter School of Gary
  • Terre Haute – South Vigo High School

Students attending the nation’s top-ranked college for undergraduate engineering education are proficient in math and science. That’s why AskRose has become a perfect way for Rose-Hulman students to help children learn and succeed, give back to schools throughout Indiana, and improve tutors’ communication and leadership skills while reinforcing their knowledge of basic math and science concepts.

About 100 Rose-Hulman students serve as tutors during each school year after being specially recommended by faculty for their technical knowledge and ability to communicate with students of all skill and comprehension levels. Approximately 20 tutors are available each night and they have access to textbooks and many other resources to lend valuable assistance. The AskRose Homework Help program is certified by the National Tutoring Association.

AskRose officials report that younger schoolchildren have been more impacted by COVID-19 pandemic learning loss than older students. That’s why the program recently expanded its service hours to begin at 5 p.m. five nights each week to better reach younger students.

A key ingredient of the AskRose program is that rather than give students the answers, tutors guide students through homework problems to help them better understand math and science concepts. This is the way students are taught in schools today.  

Student privacy is always protected, and students are never asked for their last name or telephone number. Also, all AskRose Homework Help services are available at no cost to students and parents through support and financial assistance from Lilly Endowment Inc. and Rose-Hulman.

AskRose Homework Help has conducted more than 750,000 tutoring sessions since starting in 1991. The AskRose.org website also offers more than 500 resources available through videos and downloadable reference materials.

AskRose Basics:

- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology offers free math and science tutoring for students in grades 6-12. Students may call 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673) to speak with a tutor, or go to the AskRose website, AskRose.org, to interact with a tutor by video, online or through email. Questions filed by email and other means are answered during AskRose’s hours of operation.

- Hours of operation: 5-10 p.m. (EDT), Sunday through Thursday, through May. Additional afternoon hours may be available, depending on tutor availability. (The service is closed during Rose-Hulman’s holiday breaks.)

- Online resources: Students and educators may access resources and educational materials at AskRose.org.

- Sponsors: The service is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. and Rose-Hulman.