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Driving systemic change

National Partnership for Student Success

City Year is proud of our collaboration with our partners to develop the National Partnership for Student Success that brings together locally chosen, evidence-based supports to help students and schools succeed. Supports include student success coaches, mentors, tutors, post-secondary transition coaches, and wraparound support coordinators. These caring and trained adults promote and support academic, social and emotional learning and development, while promoting students’ mental health and well-being. City Year and Voices for National Service collaborated on development of the original framework and policy recommendations that led to the NPSS, which aims to address the educational impacts of the pandemic and combat long-standing inequities.

As highlighted by President Joe Biden’s call in his State of the Union for more Americans to step up as tutors and mentors, public schools need additional capacity right now—particularly in our nation’s most systemically under-resourced communities, where City Year AmeriCorps members serve.

That’s why ensuring more students have access to student success coaches as we recover from the pandemic is critically important.

In July 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration, led by the U.S. Department of Education and AmeriCorps, in collaboration with the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University and a diverse group of organizations, launched the National Partnership for Student Success.

An infusion of evidence-based supports is both a critical, urgent response to meet the recovery and thriving needs of students, families and educators as well as a bridge to an education system that provides more supportive learning environments that value all learners and attend to young people’s social, emotional, academic and cognitive development by prioritizing relationships and learning. By seeking to fully resource all communities, the NPSS addresses long-standing educational inequities that have harmed children of color, children growing up in lower-income households, children with disabilities, and English language learners.

City Year and National Partnership for Student Success

City Year AmeriCorps members are student success coaches

As the nation’s largest provider of student success coaches (SSCs), City Year is positioned to offer guidance, resources and leadership to schools, districts and organizations seeking to launch, expand or refine student success coaching programs.

Our evidence of impact across 340 public schools provides insights into the value of holistic student supports and their role in expanding educational equity to the NPSS and its partners.

Our role in schools

SSCs provide additional “people-power” and talent to support students and teachers in systemically under-resourced public schools through direct social, emotional and academic services. Services include one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction, classroom supports, and activities that build whole school environments of joy and belonging.

SSCs are interwoven into the fabric of schools to enable the conditions that allow other interventions to succeed and that can help bring practices advocated by the science of learning and development to life.  Many SSCs continue their careers as educators, helping to build a more robust, diverse pipeline of future educators.

What does student success coaching look like?

Authentic coach/student relationship

Data-informed programming

Diverse group of skilled coaches

Intentional school integration and holistic support

Ongoing learning and development

Supportive program structure

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Learn more about the six drivers of student success coaching and the three conditions for success in schools.

Voices for National Service & the American Rescue Plan

Voices for National Service is a coalition of national, state and local service organizations working together to build bipartisan support for national service, develop policies to expand and strengthen service opportunities and ensure a robust federal investment in AmeriCorps. City Year serves as the organizational and operational host for Voices for National Service, and the coalition’s work is guided by a Steering Committee of leaders representing 29 national service organizations and state service commissions.

AmeriCorps rapidly mobilizes to meet important challenges of our time—including responding to disasters, addressing public health needs, building climate resiliency, and expanding education and economic opportunity. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, AmeriCorps programs have acted quickly and creatively to address gaps in services and persistent inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Voices for National Service worked with congressional leaders to successfully advocate for a historic investment of $1 billion for AmeriCorps in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Funds were provided to stabilize existing national service programs, increase benefits for those who serve, and deploy additional full and part-time AmeriCorps members to support communities’ response to COVID-19.

Over the last two years, a bipartisan coalition in Congress has worked together to craft legislation that outlines a bold vision for AmeriCorps at a moment when the nation needs it most. Voices for National Service has served as a resource for policymakers crafting service bills such as the Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service (CORPS) Act, the Civilian Climate Corps Act, the America’s Call To Improve Opportunities Now (ACTION) for National Service Act and the Building Civic Bridges Act.

Equity-based research agenda

In Spring 2022, City Year published its first-ever publicly facing Research and Learning Agenda, the culmination of many years of reflection, collaboration and commitment.

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Learn more about the Education Research & Evaluation team and its work.

Research agenda cover image

The document reflects insights and experience from AmeriCorps members, site and HQ staff and external partners, outlining how we aspire to design and conduct research projects, recognizing the history of marginalization inherent in research and evaluation practices.

“We acknowledge that the decisions we make now about how to approach research and evaluation are critical.

“Efforts to understand effective strategies for partnering with students, schools and communities during the pandemic and beyond could transform how we think about education in the near- and long-term future.”

Today, we seek to gather broad input on the theories and subjects we choose to focus on to better understand our impact. We don’t make decisions about projects in a silo anymore. We seek input from the community members most affected by our projects to help determine our methodology. We also strive to share our findings with the communities we serve.

“Through an equitable approach to research, we hope to make explicit City Year’s commitment to conducting research that decenters the researcher and restores communities as authors and owners of the work.”

The agenda also signals what our current and future research are designed to explore—information that contributes to the evidence base about what students need to thrive in school, college and career.

Learn more about City Year’s learning journey to adopt an equity-focused research agenda. If you have feedback on this agenda, please share it with City Year’s Education and Research team.

Student and school outcomes

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AmeriCorps member and
alumni outcomes

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