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Pathways to Education Canada:
Overview & the role of program
evaluation
April 24, 2014
Stacey J Young, former National Dir...
Presentation overview
whatispathwaystoeducation
roleofprogramevaluation
PART I
• What is Pathways to Education?
The community development model
• Established in Regent Park, in 2001
• Product of a strategic planning exercise of the
Co...
The community of Regent Park
• Oldest, largest housing project in Canada
• Numerous community characteristics that served ...
Pathways’ vision statement
Our vision is of community succession: the children of the
community will become the doctors, n...
Pathways’ goals
• To increase school attendance
• To improve grades
• To increase the proportion of students achieving the...
• Four pillars to the Pathways program which collectively “wrap” students in supports deemed critical to helping them
comp...
Some results, I
9
Some of the highlights of the program’s success includes the following:
• Pathways has expanded from one...
PART II
• The growing complexity of the Pathways
enterprise
New communities added
• Now in 12 communities across Canada;
• 9 cities; 4 provinces, each with more or less very differen...
New and old models of program evaluation
• High degree of happiness with the use of credit accumulation and
school attenda...
New evaluation model
• Three parts:
• Entrance survey (goals, anticipated path to success)
• Intended to promote a greater...
Communityprofiles
• These were particularly important
• Included a detailed assessment of the nature of the student popula...
Concludingthoughts
• With growing complexity of its students’ different social contexts,
a new refreshed evaluation regime...
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W stacey young - Pathways to Education Canada

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W stacey young - Pathways to Education Canada

  1. 1. Pathways to Education Canada: Overview & the role of program evaluation April 24, 2014 Stacey J Young, former National Director, Research and Evaluation, Pathways to Education Canada Current Co-CEO and Academy Director, Rebellion Gallery & Art Academy, Toronto, ON, CANADA
  2. 2. Presentation overview whatispathwaystoeducation roleofprogramevaluation
  3. 3. PART I • What is Pathways to Education?
  4. 4. The community development model • Established in Regent Park, in 2001 • Product of a strategic planning exercise of the Community Health Centre, which started in 1999 • Questions that drove the exercise: • How can we help transform the community? • How can we identify the problem, the solution, and the (missing) resources needed to helpturn Regent Park around? 4
  5. 5. The community of Regent Park • Oldest, largest housing project in Canada • Numerous community characteristics that served to disadvantage members – low income, high unemployment, low educational outcomes • Diverse community – one of its greatest strengths – nearly 80 per cent visible minority, with Asia, Africa and Latin America being primary “sources” of immigration • 58 per cent of residents born outside of Canada • BUT … In 1999, high school drop out rate was 56 per cent 5
  6. 6. Pathways’ vision statement Our vision is of community succession: the children of the community will become the doctors, nurses, social workers, community health workers and administrators of the health centre. The vision challenges us to continue to strive for excellence (and) develop culturally relevant programs that improve access and create a healthy environment. Our tools are collaboration and activism (cited from Rowen and Gosine, 2006: 279-80). 6
  7. 7. Pathways’ goals • To increase school attendance • To improve grades • To increase the proportion of students achieving their credits in each year of high schools, particularly in the earlier grades of 9 and 10 • To increase the connection between the students, their parents and their schools 7
  8. 8. • Four pillars to the Pathways program which collectively “wrap” students in supports deemed critical to helping them complete their education, make the transition into a successful career, and become contributing members of their community. • Pathways identifies local agencies in high-need communities and helps them build the knowledge and capacity required to run the program • Pathways enters into contracts with students, parents and schools to establish clear goals and expectations and to promote a shared responsibility for student and community success. How? ADVOCACY & COUNSELLING Staff provide 1-on-1 support to help students succeed in school, at home, and in the community (“SPSW”) SOCIAL SUPPORT Volunteers run group mentoring activities to help students with social skills, problem solving and career planning FINANCIAL SUPPORT Scholarships and other financial supports provide incentives and help reduce barriers to school completion ACADEMIC SUPPORT Volunteers provide after-school tutoring in core academic subjects Student/Parent Contract Community Engagement/Readiness
  9. 9. Some results, I 9 Some of the highlights of the program’s success includes the following: • Pathways has expanded from one Ontario site to eight sites over the last four years, and now serves 3,522 students in Ontario alone (as of October 31, 2011) • More than 1,000 students (or 67%) have graduated from the Ontario sites, 73% of whom have gone on to post-secondary education • Pathways has reduced the number of Grade 9 students deemed “at risk” by almost 47% • At Regent Park – the flagship program site – Pathways has reduced the dropout rate to less than 11% for all cohorts from the original community rate of 56%.
  10. 10. PART II • The growing complexity of the Pathways enterprise
  11. 11. New communities added • Now in 12 communities across Canada; • 9 cities; 4 provinces, each with more or less very different types of communities, including: • Multi-generational Anglo families (high rates of Learning Disabilities) • New Canadians, including highly motivated immigrant families as well as refugees from Afghanistan, Karen-speaking regions and Rwanda • Tackling issues of literacy and Enligh as a second language • Aboriginal (First Nations) community • Black community (200 years)
  12. 12. New and old models of program evaluation • High degree of happiness with the use of credit accumulation and school attendance patterns – together with program participation tracking – as basis of predictors of likely school success • Missing layer though • must re-evaluate the old “program satisfaction” model as basis for assessing the individual/community fit with the program model • Given the variety of communities now involved, new forms of program evaluation were required; as well as changes to the program itself
  13. 13. New evaluation model • Three parts: • Entrance survey (goals, anticipated path to success) • Intended to promote a greater sense of student ownership over the results of the program and the role it plays in school success • Annual updates to student-stated goals • Implement a larger, “community context” survey – driven largely to assess students’ views of their social worlds including school, community, family, and assess their sense of the resources they and their families need to succeed • Accompanied by rather detailed “community profiles” that would be refreshed after the initial one was developed prior to the establishment of the program • A satisfaction survey upon program exit
  14. 14. Communityprofiles • These were particularly important • Included a detailed assessment of the nature of the student population • And differences among, including the literacy and language issues; the inter- generation effects of poverty; the historical oppression and challenges of the Black Canadian community (former African slaves from the American colony); Aboriginal-First Nations learners • Identified solutions included: • Need for comprehensive database (all sites and HQ); • Establish ties with those who could offer access to learning disability assessments (Kingston) • Peace-building exercises across culture (Regent Park, Lawrence Heights, Rexdale) • Greater integration of Aboriginal learning modalities; role of language (Vancouver, Winnipeg)) • Historically appropriate curricula (Halifax)
  15. 15. Concludingthoughts • With growing complexity of its students’ different social contexts, a new refreshed evaluation regime was required • Develop comprehensive “community profiles” based on engagement process, Statistics Canada, others) • Advice was sought from a community of scholars spanning the disciplines, and engaged academics representing education, psychology, social work, political science, sociology and anthropology • helped ensure we were equally aware of individual factors associated with student success, as well as community factors • Program was “tweaked” based on evaluation results

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