The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) (http://www.tutormentorconnection.org) is a non-profit, community-based organization that is dedicated to expanding the availability of comprehensive, volunteer-based, tutor/mentor programs in all poverty areas of the Chicago Region. The organization operates a site-based program for teens living in the Cabrini-Green area of Chicago (Cabrini Connections - (http://www.cabriniconnections.net), which was founded in 1993.
The organization has 4 full time and 2 part time staff (4.5 FTE) and engages more than 150 volunteers in its activities. The annual budget is approximately $370,000 (excluding the costs associated with this Technology Plan). This is a very small organization, which draws upon the efforts of many volunteers. View the organization chart at http://cmapspublic.ihmc.us/servlet/SBReadResourceServlet?rid=1195516249535_992815786_15410&partName=htmltext
The T/MC has been using various communications and information technologies to meet its organizational goals since 1993, drawing upon extensive business advertising, marketing and IT backgrounds of its leaders. This Technology Plan was first created in 2003, with help of a part time IT employee, supported by funds from a Community Technology Centers Grant. The plan provides a strategic overview of the organization’s integrated uses of these applications and outlines the human resources, hardware and software required to make our IT systems fully functional by the end of 2008, and to support continued technology operations and innovations after that.
Since 2003 progress has been made on many of the goals in this plan, and HSBC North America has provided $30,000 in funds to support a full-time eLearning and Technology Coordinator (see http://www.cabriniconnections.net/hsbc/technology_coordinator.asp for description of position). In addition, the Technology Department at IndianaUniversityPurdueUniversity Indianapolis (IUPUI) has provided support since 2005, primarily in rebuilding the http://www.tutormentorconnection.org web site, and hosting it on an IUPUI server. As you read through the rest of this plan, we will highlight progress made since 2003 as we point to challenges and future goals.
When the Technology Plan was written in 2003, we stated our 3 year goals to be:
Combine various database applications; including Geographic Information Systems into one interactive Internet based system.
Continued development and expand uses of interactive survey tools, such as the Organizational History and Tracking Systems (SVHATS and OHATS)
Improve web presence along with Information / Referral processes at T/MC sites
Communication and Collaboration
Develop e-conferencing, e-collaboration, list-serves and distance learning capacity, connecting thousands tutor/mentor stakeholders with each other and the T/MC
Expand use of Internet as a marketing tool, drawing visibility, volunteers and dollars to all tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago region
Increase participation of youth in communications and decision making process
Develop web-based system that enables volunteer/donors to contribute time/ talent/dollars directly to individual programs listed in T/MC databases
Develop web-based system that helps programs find training and learning resources
Add e-conferencing feature to Nov. and May Tutor/Mentor Conferences.
Develop web based evaluation and collaboration tools, such as OHATS
We will focus on the following technology areas
Web based interactive database technologies.
Staffing to support application development, web sites and information collection/sharing
Hardware and software needed to support these technologies
Consistent Tech support for T/MC and Cabrini Connections.
The total budget of the implementation of this technology plan will vary; depending on how much work volunteers do, how much hardware/software is donated, and how much revenue can be raised each year. At minimum, $40,000 per year is required for part time tech support, network expenses, and emergency repairs. If this work were all being funded through paid consultants, it could cost several hundred thousand dollars over a three-year period. NOTE. Since Dec. 2005 the organization has been able to raise an average of $36,000 per year from two foundations to support 2006 and 2007 eLearning and Technology goals.