Graduate GREAT will provide a participatory course of study and training that will support, develop, nurture excellence and employ effective strategies designed to encourage students in grades 3rd to 8th to reach their academic, social and emotional potential.

PROGRAM

Our aim is to offer a set of developmental tasks relating to Leadership. Opportunity, Voice and Empowerment through which the students will improve educationally, physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally in stride with positive adolescent behavior to inspire and challenge students to become life-long learners.

Empowerment and confidence is encouraged throughout the process (coaching/facilitation); leading toward self-reflective responsibilities once services have ended. 
All activities will provide Leadership, Opportunity, Voice, and Empowerment (L.O.V.E.)

 

I. Leadership    
• Character and Cultural Development
• Social and Emotional Awareness
• Culture of High Expectations and       Caring

II. Opportunity
• Transition Preparedness
• College and Career Readiness
• Workforce and Business Pathway

III. Voice
• Advocacy
• Self-Confidence
• Self-Management

IV. Empowerment
• Resiliency     
• Supportive Interactions
• Connectedness and Bonding

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That's a student every 26 seconds - or 7,000 a day. About 25% of high school freshmen fail to graduate from high school on time. The U.S., which had some of the highest graduation rates of any developed country, now ranks 22nd out of 27 developed countries. (https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-high-school-dropout-rates). Graduation rates vary state by state and race. Nationwide, black students graduated at a rate of 69% ; Hispanics graduated at 73%; whites graduated at a rate of 86% creating a disproportion among graduating students. (http://www.governing.com/gov-data/education-data/state-high-school-graduation-rates-by-race-ethnicity.html)

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

 
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Graduate GREAT will prepare students to:

  • Employ effective strategies designed to encourage students to reach their academic, social and leadership potential.
  • Offer a set of developmental tasks relating to academic, physical, cognitive, self, social, and emotional benchmarks through which the individual progresses as a part of normal development.
  • Utilize an asset approach to allow those qualities/benchmarks to assist in the description of normal adolescent behavior.
  • Include character and social development workshops, enhancement of life-learning skills, one-on-one and/or group engagement activities, additional school connection and support, and attendance at school meetings.
  • Engage in a process of developmental impact domains to inspire and challenges students to become life-long learners.

SOLUTION STATEMENTS

Graduate GREAT is having strong educational demonstration in the principles, phases and activities, with specific action steps and individualization for students grades 3rd through 8th. Education is confidence and encouraged throughout the process (coaching/facilitation) leading students toward self-reflective and self-determining responsibility. Graduate GREAT encompasses the "10 Principles of the Wraparound Process" (Bruns et.al. 2008):

  • Student Voice and Choice
  • Team Based Approaches
  • Natural Supports Collaboration
  • Community Based Learning
  • Culturally Competent
  • Individualized SMART Plan
  • Strength Based Teaching
  • Unconditional Support
  • Outcomes Based Evaluation
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RESULTS & SOLUTIONS

  • Illustrate the relationship between educational actions and outcomes related to each other over the lifespan of the project.
  • Seek to engage students during the school year working with a cohort of 12-15 students at each school.
  • Operate and align with the schools grading period in which we will offer a pre and post test during each nine (9) week grading period.
  • Accomplish this though detailed instruction guided by direct communication with the students, parents and school staff.
  • Build school based programming operations with broad-based support focusing on the effectiveness of supportive services that empower the independence of students, in addition to teaching them the transferable life skills necessary in their development.
  • Build and extensive network of independent student voices within schools to have equitable access to educational and social support resources.

PURPOSE/RATIONALE

  • Students should be looked upon for their positive contributions to education and not blamed for their defaults.
  • Researchers such as (Dudley - Marling, 2007; Garcia & Guerra, 2004; Skrla & Scheurich, 2001) noted that students are approached form a deficit perspective.
  • Deficit model thinking does not help the students reach their full educational opportunities.
  • Critical race and deficit model thinking provides a framework for understanding barriers, assumptions, and failures for parent and family engagement within urban public schools.
  • By using a critical race theory framework researchers take an academic discipline focused upon the application of critical theory for all students.

AREAS OF FOCUS

  • Attend and/or live in the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
  • GPA and Attendance records
  • Activities that enhance competence, connections, character, confidence and contribution to society.
  • Engagement in activities that promote technological citizenship, self-understanding, self-worth and a sense of belonging and resiliency.
  • Participation in an annual Youth Summit, Service Learning Projects and Community Partnership. 

SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS

 

2016-2017

2017-2018

 

Anticipated 2018-2019

  • Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy 6-12
  • Pittsburgh Faison Elementary School K-5
  • Penn Hills Entrepreneurial Charter School K-8
  • Pittsburgh Sterrett Middle School 6-8
  • West Mifflin Middle School 6-8
  • Pittsburgh Faison Elementary School K-5
  • Steel Valley Middle School 6-8
  • Chartier Valley Middle School 6-8
  • Pittsburgh Minadeo Elementary School k-5
  • Propel Braddock Hills Elementary School K-5
  • Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy 6-12
  • West Mifflin Middle School 6-8
  • Pittsburgh Faison Elementary School K-5
  • Penn Hills Entrepreneurial Charter School K-8
  • Chartier Valley Middle School 6-8
  • Pittsburgh Minadeo Elementary School K-5
  • Pittsburgh Sterrett Middle School 6-8
  • Propel Braddock Hills Elementary School 6-8
  • Pittsburgh Miller School Elementary School K-5
  • Propel Hazelwood Elementary School K-5
  • Pittsburgh Colfax Elementary School K-5
  • Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy 6-12
  • Steel Valley Middle School 6-8

For more information about Graduate GREAT, please contact:

Nate Brown
Program Manager
nbrown@ssdipgh.org
412-665-2810 ext. 201