The state of Arizona has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country.
Therefore, many different resources and intervention programs are designed to help prevent
at-risk students from dropping out and making sure they graduate on time - typically within four
years. However, one extremely underutilized but highly effective resource for intervention is
peer tutoring. Peer tutoring is a well-known method of active learning within the classroom
where students assist one another, but it is rarely used systematically as a way to support at-risk
students with the goal of increasing academic performance to decrease the number of dropouts.
This thesis and creative project takes a look at the inception, development, and growth of
PeerSquared, Inc., a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation, founded by chief executive officer,
Michael Wang, on his journey to help Arizona high schools build and scale sustainable and
systematically-integrated, 1-on-1, peer-to-peer tutoring programs. This paper will account
Michael’s motivation for this mission and the growth of PeerSquared from its inception in
November 2018 up to August 2020. For context, the COVID-19 pandemic began noticeably
impacting Arizona in late-March 2020 when schools decided to not resume in-person school in
favor of distance learning resulting in a necessary pivot for PeerSquared.
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