Commission AmeriCorps State FY 2011
PROJECT: Blue Engine
FOCUS AREA: Education
REGION: New York, NY
PROBLEM: In schools across America, students are sold on the dream of college without acquiring the core academic skills they need to succeed once they get there. This problem is compounded in low-income communities, where only 15 of every 100 students entering college each year complete bachelor's degrees. Research has consistently shown that increased academic rigor during high school is the strongest predictor of whether students persist beyond their first year and obtain their degrees on time.
SOLUTION: Blue Engine is requesting 32 full-time MSYs to enable an expansion of our rigorous, one-year service fellowship designed to allow recent college graduates to connect with small numbers of students as full-time, professional tutors in public high schools serving low-income, minority, and first generation students in New York City. This unique instructional program focuses on helping students build stronger academic foundations in high school in order to ensure that high school graduates have the skills necessary to succeed in college coursework without the need for remediation. Blue Engine does this by implementing three main activities: small group instruction to help students become self-regulated learners; college and curricular planning to align students' expectations and coursetaking decisions with the demands of college-level work; and afterschool programming to increase instructional time and foster multi-faceted relationships between CMs, students, teachers, and members of the school community. Blue Engine fellows, upon completion, will have received training and professional development that serve as onramps into social impact careers.
METRICS: Blue Engine's metrics are aligned with the National Performance Measures for Education, specifically: ED1, ED2, ED5 for secondary mathematics, literacy, and after-school.
IMPACT: Blue Engine aims to create critical masses of students (50% or more) who master core concepts as underclassmen (as evidenced by pre/post test results), enroll and succeed in advanced coursework as upperclassmen (as evidenced by increased enrollments and success rates in AP/IB/dual credit coursework), and graduate with the skills they need to avoid remediation and complete college.
CURRENT: 12 AmeriCorps CMs (secured through an intermediary) working with 180 students in a single high school in NYC to support integrated algebra coursework as a pilot subject. 3 full-time staff members include Executive Director, AmeriCorps Program Director, Site Director.
BUDGET: FY2011: $526,000. Proposed FY2012 total: $972,000. Proposed FY2012 budget submitted to CNCS: $816,787. Proposed FY2012 grantee match: 54%.
COST / MSY: $11,776.