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Evidence of City Year's impact

We seek to accelerate organizational progress and continuous improvement by leading an equity-based approach to research and evaluation that informs practice improvements, builds our evidence of impact, and advances systemic change.

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Our goal is to effectively support students and adults who work in schools

Supporting students’ social-emotional development
Research and Learning Agenda
Learnings during the pandemic

Through our research and evaluation work, we aim to understand how to create learning environments and educational systems that accelerate educational equity by enabling all students to reach their full potential. We do so by exploring our outcomes on multiple levels:

  • our impact on systems, schools and students
  • the effectiveness of our practices
  • our impact on our AmeriCorps members and alumni and the communities we serve

The studies and reports highlighted below are produced by independent research organizations and researchers. Collectively, they cover a wide range of impact and implementation of City Year’s holistic services, demonstrate evidence of City Year’s impact in areas like supporting improvements on state tests, improving students’ social-emotional skills and reducing early warning indicators, such as chronic absenteeism, and shed light on how to accelerate student success in systemically under-resourced schools. Continue reading to learn more about City Year’s research journey and how we support the work of our partner organizations.

Supporting students’ social-emotional development

Our most recent research aims to understand the relationships between students’ social-emotional and academic outcomes. By understanding and exploring City Year’s effect in schools, we also aim to understand how our student success coach model can be replicated across a number of programs.

As a part of this work:

  • City Year partnered with International Futures (iF) to identify the key components of a K-12 student success coaching (SSC) program
  • Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University conducted two analyses to understand the relationship between students’ social-emotional and academic outcomes to explore City Year’s effect in schools.

Student Success Coach Target Program Profile

We believe that Student Success Coaches advance educational equity. These coaches represent an intentional counter to inequality and systemic deficits and an intentional promotion of thriving across multiple domains for students who experience inequity and injustice. Learn more about the student and success coach relationship and how it helps further learning and our work in schools.

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Connecting Social-Emotional Development, Academic Achievement and On-Track Outcomes

These studies reinforces the importance of building students’ social-emotional skills and showing when a student spends time with a City Year AmeriCorps member, who serves as a student success coach, during one academic year, the positive effects are durable over multiple years.

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Learnings during the pandemic

City Year sought to elevate the voices of those closest to the work—students, AmeriCorps members and teachers – to bring to life their extraordinary efforts to support student success. Learn more about the new challenges and opportunities presented to school communities in this critical phase of change and rebuilding in the face of school closures and shifts between virtual and hybrid learning environments.

Challenges and Opportunities: Student and practitioner experiences during COVID-19

AmeriCorps members serving as Student Success Coaches are invaluable partners to teachers as they work together to meet students’ shifting needs—a testament to the value of this strategically integrated additional capacity.

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How a personalized approach to learning helped one organization quickly adapt in a global pandemic: A City Year Case Study

Funded by the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, this study explores how City Year successfully responded to and adapted in-person services to distance learning and hybrid environments as school districts navigated the challenged of COVID-19.

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“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.”

Research and Learning Agenda City Year

Research informs our unique approach to student success

City Year’s holistic approach is based on a growing body of research about how students learn and how caring adults...

Read more about How students learn

The power of diverse educational representation Abraham Galán still remembers what it’s like to feel out-of-place in school. Growing up...

Read more about Representation matters: The power of serving your community

A battle of mathematical wits is playing out in a cramped but colorful classroom. Ruben*, an outgoing fourth-grader with dark...

Read more about Making sense out of math with games, competition and 'growth mindset'

City Year AmeriCorps members provide consistent care and support for students and schools during the pandemic.

Read more about City Year offers caring, consistent student support

Our research archive

Read City Year's full archive of research and further explore our learning journey.

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National Strategic Partners
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National Partners
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