A New Nonprofit: The ASSISTments Foundation

Dotted blue decorative line - ASSISTments Images
A message from Neil Heffernan, introducing a new nonprofit, The ASSISTments Foundation! Building the foundation is an essential step in growing ASSISTments and impacting more students and teachers.

It has been a long time coming, and in April of 2019 the ASSISTments team announced the formation of the nonprofit ASSISTments Foundation! Cristina and I are thrilled at the potential for the foundation to bring in new talent, connect with new donors and scale-up ASSISTments to more school districts. The ASSISTments Foundation will support the development and dissemination of ASSISTments in classrooms all over the country!

We are pleased to have the opportunity to create a nonprofit organization. Building the foundation is an essential step in growing ASSISTments and impacting more students and teachers. Cristina and I anticipate that becoming a nonprofit will create more opportunities for ASSISTments to work with both school districts and new funding agencies. In order to accomplish these ends, the ASSISTments Foundation is hiring several new positions. Stay up-to-date on our new roles here.

The creation of a foundation could not have come at a better time. In mid-April, the US Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse announced that ASSISTments is the 6th math intervention in the country to provide “positive effects, without reservation” to students!

Though it has long been coming, the foundation is being launched with support from multi-million dollar investments from philanthropic foundations. These awards supported the creation of the ASSISTments Foundation, as well as the development of new feedback features that will help students as they complete assignments.

The ASSISTments team hopes to leverage the new nonprofit status to increase marketing efforts, form new relationships with schools and cultivate a larger community of teacher and student users. I am excited to continue doing research at WPI, while helping the ASSISTments Foundation learn what works in education.

What will this mean for teachers who use ASSISTments? ASSISTments will remain a free service to teachers, who can expect to see improvements in user interface and features to the platform. Additionally, ASSISTments teachers can look forward to new teacher trainings, professional learning and peer learning communities in the near future!

The ASSISTments team is grateful to all those who supported the creation of our foundation. Thank you to all the teachers who use ASSISTments in their classrooms and spread the word to fellow teachers. Thank you to school administrators who took a bet and implemented ASSISTments in their schools. Thank you to all the agencies and charitable foundations that make our important work possible. With your support, we will continue to grow ASSISTments to improve the education of students everywhere!

--Neil Heffernan, Professor of Computer Science at WPI and ASSISTments Founder

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