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City Year’s holistic work with students and schools has been and continues to be informed by leading research and best practices from the field, including the following:

Research and Reports

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University (2018) View below

The Evidence Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. The Aspen Institute (2017) View below

Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive. The Search Institute (2017) View below

Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects. CASEL (2017) View below

Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework. UChicago Consortium on School Research (2015) View below

Overcoming the Poverty Challenge to Enable College and Career Readiness for All. Robert Balfanz (2015) View below

Handbook of Youth Mentoring, Chapter 7: Mentoring Relationships in Developmental Perspective. Gil G. Noam, Tina Malti & Michael J. Karcher (2013) View below

Developmental Relationships as the Active Ingredient: A Unifying Working Hypothesis of "What Works" Across Intervention Settings. Junlei Li and Megan Julian (2012) View below

On Track for Success: The Use of Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems to Build a Grad Nation. Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University (2011) View below

The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School. Center for Labor Studies, Northeastern University (2009) View below

Case Studies

This Nonprofit’s Digital Transformation Empowers Employees to Pursue a Nationwide Mission. Microsoft Customer Stories (2019) View below

Creating a Partnership Strategy: A Field Guide. Community Wealth Partners (2019) View below

City Year at 30: Toward Long-Term Impact. Rosabeth Moss Kanter and James Weber, Harvard Business School (2018) View below

Data as a Means, Not an End: A Brief Case Study. Tracie Neuhaus & Jarasa Kanok, Stanford Social Innovation Review. (2016) View below

Resources

Clover Model of Youth Development, The PEAR Institute View below

Mindset Kit, The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS) View below


Research and Reports

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates.

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University (2018)

Authored by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and released annually in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education and America’s Promise Alliance, the Building a Grad Nation report examines both progress and challenges toward reaching the GradNation campaign goal of a national on-time graduation rate of 90 percent.

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The Evidence Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The Evidence Base for How We Learn: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. Consensus Statements of Evidence From the Council of Distinguished Scientists, National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD), The Aspen Institute (2017)

The research brief presents a set of consensus statements from the SEAD Commission’s Council of Distinguished Scientists that affirm the interconnectedness of social, emotional, and academic development as central to the learning process. Drawing from brain science, medicine, economics, psychology, and education research, the brief describes why it is essential to address the social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions of learning; how these dimensions together shape students’ academic and life outcomes; and how these competencies can be taught throughout childhood, adolescence, and beyond.

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Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive

Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive. The Search Institute (2017)

Growing evidence suggests that strategically and systematically investing in building developmental relationships can be catalytic for effective education, programs, and services for children, youth, and families. This booklet introduces what Search Institute is learning about developmental relationships and provides some starting points for action by organizations and leaders dedicated to children and youth.

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Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects

Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects. CASEL (2017)

This meta-analysis analyzed results from 82 different social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions involving more than 97,000 students from kindergarten to high school and found that programs that teach SEL in schools have long-term impact.

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Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework

Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework. UChicago Consortium on School Research (2015)

Amid growing recognition that strong academic skills alone are not enough for young people to become successful adults, this comprehensive report offers wide-ranging evidence to show what young people need to develop from preschool to young adulthood to succeed in college and career, have healthy relationships, be engaged citizens, and make wise choices. It concludes that rich experiences combining action and reflection help children develop a set of critical skills, attitudes, and behaviors. And it suggests that policies should aim to ensure that all children have consistent, supportive relationships and an abundance of these developmental experiences through activities inside and outside of school.

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Overcoming the Poverty Challenge to Enable College and Career Readiness for All

Overcoming the Poverty Challenge to Enable College and Career Readiness for All. Robert Balfanz (2013)

In this report, Dr. Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins University illustrates the negative impact that growing up in poverty can have on a student’s educational outcome. The report also examines the unique opportunity that nonprofits, community volunteers, and full-time national service members have to make an impact in the lives of the schools and students that need it the most.

Download the report [PDF]

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Handbook of Youth Mentoring, Chapter 7: Mentoring Relationships in Developmental Perspective

Handbook of Youth Mentoring, Chapter 7: Mentoring Relationships in Developmental Perspective. Gil G. Noam, Tina Malti & Michael J. Karcher (2013)

The Handbook of Youth Mentoring presents the only comprehensive synthesis of current theory, research, and practice in the field of youth mentoring. In chapter 7 of the book, the authors provide a review of theories and research on the mentoring of the developing child and adolescent and introduce a new framework that can help inform mentoring practices and programs to address developmental needs and opportunities of young people.

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Developmental Relationships as the Active Ingredient: A Unifying Working Hypothesis of

Developmental Relationships as the Active Ingredient: A Unifying Working Hypothesis of "What Works" Across Intervention Settings. Junlei Li and Megan Julian (2012)

Using empirical studies as case examples, this study demonstrates that the presence or absence of developmental relationships distinguishes effective and ineffective interventions for diverse populations across developmental settings. The conclusion is that developmental relationships are the foundational metric with which to judge the quality and forecast the impact of interventions for at-risk children and youth.

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On Track for Success: The Use of Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems to Build a Grad Nation

On Track for Success: The Use of Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems to Build a Grad Nation. Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University (2011)

This report offers a comprehensive view on early warning indicator and intervention systems (EWS), informed by site visits and interviews with educators in sixteen districts and seven states. The report overviews the research, shares emerging best practices from the field, and provides policy recommendations.

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The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School

The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School. Center for Labor Studies, Northeastern University (2009)

This report examines unemployment rates and other problems such as lower earnings and higher incarceration rates that affect young adult dropouts more disproportionately than their better-educated peers.

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Case Studies

This nonprofit’s digital transformation empowers employees to pursue a nationwide mission. Microsoft Customer Stories (2019)

Microsoft highlights how City Year used its data analytics tools to put smarter, more complete data in the hands of staff and AmeriCorps members so that City Year is better positioned to provide students with the support they need—and build the foundation for a promising future.

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Creating a Partnership Strategy: A Field Guide. Community Wealth Partners (2019)

This field guide aims to support organizations as they explore partnership strategies for greater impact. The guide provides actionable tools, questions to explore, and examples of what this work looked like for City Year.

Dowload the case study [PDF]

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City Year at 30: Toward Long-Term Impact. Rosabeth Moss Kanter and James Weber, Harvard Business School (2018)

A new Harvard Business School (HBS) case study examines City Year's three-decade history, highlighting the organization's "ambitious impact strategy" aimed at making a substantial improvement in high school graduation rates. "City Year at 30‎: Toward Long-Term Impact" explores City Year's efforts to transform itself over time to create an organization capable of delivering on its Long-Term Impact (LTI) strategy, taking a closer look at how the organization evolved its program, operations and fundraising model to better align with strategy and position the organization to reach its LTI goals. City Year has previously been featured in several other HBS case studies, which are all part of HBS's curriculum and can be purchased on the Harvard Business Publishing website.

Disclaimer: Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Assistant Director James Weber (Case Research & Writing Group) prepared the original version of this case, "City Year: The Journey," HBS No. 311-080. This version was prepared by the same authors. It was reviewed and approved before publication by a company designate. Funding for the development of this case was provided by Harvard Business School and not by the company. Professor Kanter has been a long-term member of the City Year Board of Trustees. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management.

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Data as a Means, Not an End: A Brief Case Study. Tracie Neuhaus & Jarasa Kanok, Stanford Social Innovation Review. (2016)

This case study from Deloitte Consulting LLP summarizes how City Year tackled “measurement drift” by reorienting its measurement activities around one simple premise: Data should support better decision-making.

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Resources

Clover Model of Youth Development

Clover Model of Youth Development, The PEAR Institute

Through many years of research and practical experience, Dr. Gil Noam and The PEAR Institute have developed a youth development model called “Clover.” The Clover Model highlights four essential elements, or “leaves,” that people of all ages need to thrive, learn and grow: Active Engagement; Assertiveness; Belonging; and Reflection. This framework provides a common language and promotes an environment for both adults and students to make meaning of experiences, capitalize on strengths, and build new skills. Clover supports the formation of positive developmental relationships, implementation of a range of youth development practices throughout the school day, and the fostering of social-emotional skill development.

Learn more about the model
Read about how City Year AmeriCorps members are using the Clover Model in their work with students

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Mindset Kit

Mindset Kit, The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS)

The Mindset Kit was created by The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS) at Stanford University, to provide research-based toolkits and resources intended to improve students’ mindsets and make them better learners. The Mindset Kit offers targeted resources for parents, educators and mentors. In partnership with MENTOR and PERTS, City Year piloted the Growth Mindset for Mentors toolkit, available here.

Learn more about the Mindset Kit

Read about how one City Year location is using the toolkit to explore growth mindset with their students

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