Powerful Partnerships: A Community Program for Low Income, High School Dropouts and a University

by Beth Hatt; George Flowers; Katherine R. Robbins-Hunt

Mar 8, 2016

The proposed presentation describes the outcomes of a partnership between a youth and community development program and a teacher education program at a regional university in the Midwest. Once a federally funded program for low-income, youth ages 16-24, this agency provides General Equivalency Diploma (GED) preparation, job skills training, and community service opportunities for high school dropouts (Cohen & Piquero, 2008; Kapp, 2009), and faculty and pre-service teachers from a university supported the GED preparation and transition components of the program. Therefore, the proposal for this session most closely aligns with the "HEAD": Academic Achievement & Leadership strand of the conference, as results of the partnership indicate improved academic outcomes for program participants (increases in scores on standardized tests, GED pass rates, community colleges and technical institute enrollment, and full-time employment). In addition, the partnership simultaneously provided pre-service teachers a chance to apply teaching strategies in authentic and diverse learning environments that improved both teaching strategies and cultural responsiveness.

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