Resources and publications
City Year is committed to an equity-based approach to research. We use data, research and evaluations to understand our impact, identify best practices, and inform our approach to meeting the needs of all students and the practitioners who support their learning and growth. We also seek to share our learnings through publications and partnerships.
Learn about the research studies and evaluations that demonstrate City Year’s impact on the schools and students we serve, as well as our AmeriCorps members and alumni.
Review the research behind our model, along with tools and case studies from the field that informs City Year’s holistic work with students and schools.
From research to practice
The analyses from our most recent study, conducted by the Everybody Graduates Center, powerfully support the value of an integrated approach to social, emotional and academic development. This outcome implies that City Year’s focus on practices that cultivate a learning environment in which students have strong relationships, feel trust and have a sense of belonging—foundational elements to developing social, emotional and academic skills—is critical. The research also underscores the malleability of social-emotional skills; such skills can be learned, and students can build upon and acquire new skills within a single academic year.
Trust and belonging: essential elements to ensuring social, emotional and academic development
Research makes clear that cultivating trust and belonging in learning environments—something that City Year AmeriCorps members seek to do through their relationship building with students and a range of classroom and school activities—is critical to the development of social, emotional and academic skills. Though the EGC analysis does not directly address the elements of trust and belonging in affecting improved student outcomes, City Year’s approach and the implied connection between trust and belonging and social, emotional and academic development (SEAD) suggest that additional research would be useful to verify and validate that connection.
Practices that support social-emotional skill development
City Year has found several practices to be particularly effective in improving certain social-emotional skills, including one-on-one and small-group time with students; high-quality tutoring support; relationship building; near-peer mentorship; and an emphasis on developing trust and belonging within the learning environment. Leveraging the power of relationships between students and adults (including City Year AmeriCorps members) along with using research-based frameworks and tools such as PEAR’s Clover Model, Turnaround for Children’s Building Blocks, and Search Institute’s Developmental Relationships Framework, can help support the development of social-emotional skills, and ensure that schools are places where students feel a sense of trust and belonging. Research confirms that students are more likely to come to school and be engaged when they feel a sense of belonging and when they know that they, and their ideas, matter.
City Year's Continuous Improvement toolkit
We know our educators can position students for lasting success. That is why we are eager to showcase our free, continuous improvement (CI) digital toolkit. Educators can use this resource to understand why CI is important, and how to implement it, helping to improve inequitable student outcomes.Learn more about CI