Go Africa Network acknowledges the importance of implementing programs that seek to improve the academic and career outcomes of underserved students. We believe that interventions that are early, comprehensive, data driven and utilize the best available outcomes research can significantly improve student outcomes. With this in mind, Go Africa Network will partner with Middle School 334 to successfully implement the New York Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (NYGEAR UP).
Go Africa Network will collaborate with the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), all identified partners (CUNY, SUNY and The College Board, ), students, families and community organizations to serve a cohort of 60 seventh grade students at MS 334. This cohort will be provided with early intervention services for six years (grades 7-12) in order to support significant improvement in postsecondary, college and career outcomes.
All collaborations and services provided will be geared towards meeting NYGEAR UP’s program objectives. Here, significant effort will be placed on working to improve postsecondary awareness, outcomes and participation (HESC, 2014). A critical aspect of this process will be to support students to gain personal-social skills that support persistence and self-awareness. It is hoped that these skills will improves their ability to complete postsecondary institutions and pursue careers consistent with their skills interest and the wider market forces.
In order to meet the above objectives Go Africa Network will provide services in the form of, tutoring/homework assistance, personal counseling, career counseling, parent engagement, college awareness, orientation, mentoring and assessment support. Services will coordinate to provide a comprehensive enrichment program designed to meet program goals.
Go Africa Network is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization registered in the United States and headquartered in New York City. The organization was established to promote the social, cultural and economic development of African countries through partnerships with local, national and international organization. Go Africa Network also seek to promote local development within New York City area with special emphasis on addressing the needs of underserved communities. In recognition of the important connection between education and development the organization has made public education a primary focus. The biographies of all board members reflect the importance of education for personal and professional success.
Go Africa Network therefore aims to partner with HESC through the NYGEAR UP program to provide students with academic, personal-social and career development curriculum that support positive students outcomes reflected in improved academic outcomes throughout their participation in the program. Upon completing the six year program the aim is for students to gain entry into 4 year colleges and progress towards graduation. Additionally, students will gain career readiness skills that support effective career decision making during and after college.
Partnership and Collaboration
Go Africa Network recognizes that the design of this program requires partnership and collaboration. It is also recognized that import reporting and data gathering functions. Key services will be delivered in collaboration with HESC/NYGEAR UP partners:
ReadiStep™ Assessment. Work in tandem with The College Board and the school(s) and/or school district(s) to administer ReadiStep™ to NYGEAR UP students in the 8th and 9th grade.
PSAT/NMSQT. Work in tandem with The College Board and the school(s) and/or school district(s) to provide the PSAT/NMSQT to NYGEAR UP students when they reach the 10th grade.
Non-cognitive Skills Curriculum. Work in tandem with SUNY to provide all non-cognitive skills curriculum activities to NYGEAR UP students from 7th through 12th grade.
Parental Engagement Workshops and Communication Plan. Work in tandem with CUNY for the provision of the parental engagement workshops and communication plan.
Professional Development. Work in tandem with the school(s) and/or school district(s), The College Board, cIcu, CUNY, and SUNY for the provision of professional development for teachers, counselors and administrators. (HESC, NY GEARUP, 2014)
The School Program Site –Middle School for Academic Excellence (17K334)
Go Africa Network has identified the Middle School for Academic Excellence (MS 334) as a school partner. Our program goals are consisted with the school’s vision, “to see scholars growing academically, socially and emotionally within a school community that is nurturing, supportive and challenging; to see scholars prepared for high school and securely on the path to college and career readiness. Our program will be designed to support the school’s mission, “to work collaboratively to increase scholar achievement through the enhancement of professional practices, effective planning and preparation, while establishing a culture of learning.”
MS 334 is located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn on the Maggie L Walker Campus. The school shares the building with two other middle schools. The school serves students in the area with many of its students coming from the Albany Housing Project which sits across from the school. For administrative purposes MS 334 is among a group of K-8 schools which makes up District 17. The district office is headquartered within the same building as MS 334, with one other public middle school and a charter middle school. The school has a total enrollment of 168 students, grades 6-8. In 2012-2013, 5% and 7% of the student body were deemed proficient in the statewide English and Math tests respectively. Students are largely from working class families indicated by 83% who qualified for free lunch. A relatively high percentage of students (30%) also receive special education services. Upon graduation many of the students attend the Boys and Girls High School that has historically served has a feeder school. Our program will serve 60 students in its first year of operation. It will be an after school program operating three day during the school week Mondays through Wednesdays 3:30PM – 5:30PM. Students will be tutored and/or assisted with homework for a total of five hours each week. The schedule also includes a group guidance curriculum which will be delivered on Tuesdays. See schedule below:
3:30PM – 4:20PM
(College and Career Readiness/School Success Skills)
4:21PM – 4:34PM
4:35PM – 5:30PM
Program Objective and Outcomes
Go Africa Network will partner with MS 334 to provide academic, personal-social and career services that will complement and enhance the existing school curriculum. A cohort of seventh graders and their families will be provided with services for six years. Services will specifically address the objectives of the Gear UP program to “Increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of participating students, with an emphasis on career readiness and college fit.” Services will be designed to achieve the following outcomes.
Lower student dropout rates;
Higher high school graduation rates;
Higher rates of students who graduate high school with Advanced Designation diplomas;
Higher rates of enrollment in college or vocational training programs;
Increased knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing among students and their families;
Reduced need for remedial coursework among students entering college; and