One quarter of public high school students don't graduate on time. The Cities of Service Graduation Coaches Blueprint outlines how adult mentors can promote educational success.
A quarter of all public high school students fail to graduate with their class. High dropout rates don’t only limit opportunities for young people – they also have a dramatic impact on their communities. Raising the graduation rate has been shown to decrease teen parenthood, criminal behavior, and reliance on government-funded healthcare, food stamps and housing assistance while increasing earnings and home ownership.
In order to make this project successful, the Mayor’s office must assemble resources, including the training curriculum, trainers, materials, and training venues. Volunteers are required to participate in Graduation Coach training to learn what conversations are important to have and what resources are available. Throughout the course of the program, volunteers provide regular coaching (at least four hours per month, ideally across multiple sessions) to one or more young people and report progress to Mayor’s office and its nonprofit partners.
Executing The Plan
The Graduation Coaches program can span the entire city, serve a high school and its feeder schools, target a single neighborhood, or be limited to the area served by a particular community-based organization. Partners both in and outside of city government can play a critical role in recruiting Graduation Coaches and managing the trainings. The mayor’s office and its partners support coaches in an ongoing manner by helping them get answers to their questions, support one another, and stay engaged.
Tracking and reporting metrics are essential for the initiative to demonstrate impact and prove its value to the community. Required metrics include graduation rates of students receiving coaching, number of workshops held and number of workshop participants, number of coaches who are consistently involved with at least one student, for one year or more, and number of students who are coached for at least four hours per month, across multiple sessions, for one year or more.