Newark College Institute
Program and Policy Development
Founded in 2012, The Newark College Institute (NCI) was created to help the city’s first-generation 4-year college students graduate ready to enter professional careers. The program was finding that student participation varied in the work-readiness workshops. Additionally, internship partners complained about disorganization and reported low student performance.
Align NCI’s programming and operations with the intended program outcomes. Keep students engaged and prepared to graduate and obtain professional careers.
Launched a peer mentoring component, partner advisory council, internship curriculum, and senior networking component. Grew programming to serve 300+ college freshman through seniors in 3 programs from just 100 college freshmen served in one program. Supported the redesign and modernizing of accountability measurements and data collection. Led to 50% increase in funding from public and private sources – from $125K – $200K
Opportunity Youth Network
To address the over 4,000 youth across Newark who are not in school, not working or at risk of falling further behind their peers; the Newark Public Schools and local partner YouthBuild Newark envisioned a citywide strategy with aligned resources and systems to create high-impact and high-quality alternative programs for this population. While various programs existed across the city for this population, many service gaps existed. Most importantly, these varying services and providers lacked cross-sector coordination that would build the capacity of programs to sustain services and meet their impact goals.
Support the “Opportunity Youth Network” in building and launching its key start-up strategies and 5-year plan to develop a citywide approach to supporting disconnected youth. Develop a vision and start-up plan in order to receive a $3M seed grant from the Foundation for Newark’s Future. Develop core priorities, goals, budget, staffing model, accountability measures, and strategic plan outlining core priorities, timeline and action steps for years 1 + 2. Project Manage the opening of the Re-engagement Center.
The Opportunity Youth Network (OYN) was awarded a total of $4M in seed funding from philanthropic sources (FNF and Prudential Foundation) and Newark Public Schools. Achieved OYN’s year 1 target of re-opening the Re-engagement Center and negotiated a joint staffing plan with Newark Public Schools resulting in an additional $1M of in-kind staff for the Center. Read press release No. 1 and No. 2
Newark’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)
Leadership and Staff Development
The City of Newark has been in the midst of growing and improving its footprint of programs, services and collective efforts that prepare Newarkers to compete for 21st-century colleges and careers with a number of initiatives targeting workforce and economic development. The Mayor announced he wanted to increase the number of students in SYEP from 1500 to 4000. The City, however, recognized it needed to improve systems, preparation of students, and partnerships in order to achieve this goal.
Develop a clear plan for improving and building innovative partnerships and program elements to build meaningful work-based learning experiences for young people through SYEP. Revamp and scale up the SYEP program to be more youth development driven and focused on increasing work readiness outcomes for youth. Develop training and toolkits for employers and Newark Youth One Stop Career Center (NYOSCC) staff to improve processes and quality of services to youth and partners (Site Monitors, Job Developers, and Youth Workforce Coordinators).
Increase in number of students served from 1500 to 2500 in Summer 2016. Infusion of $1.5M in private funding. Increase in coordination and training of partners and staff, improved efficiency of processes. Revamped the role of Site Monitors and Job Developers. Currently implementing changes in the ways NYOSCC job developers approach their work by creating new workforce development tools, empowering them to recognize strengths in each other to collaborate and better plan their outreach and development. Response from supervisors and mentors workshops has been positive and fuel for additional system changes, training and support.
Newark Public Schools, Office of College and Career Readiness
Change Management & Organizational Dynamics
The Newark Public Schools was looking to streamline and clarify its vision and goals for student supports, define various departmental roles and improve systems of accountability in the newly formed Office of College and Career Readiness. Initial work Transform the “School-to- Work” department to a quality Career and Technical Education office that can support a network of 10 of the 17 Newark district high schools with CTE programming.
Improve the quality of CTE services across 10 Newark High Schools and develop a vision and core values for the CTE central district team. Reimagine CTE team roles and services to schools and build a plan for rolling out a shift in CTE from vocational education of outdated industries to rigorous 21st-century skills and careers. This work also morphed into improving and providing training in other areas of the College & Career Readiness Office including: Student Support Teams; Advisory; Guidance Counselors roles and responsibilities, high school policy, and alternative education
Streamlined and closed programs, went from 29 outdated programs to 18 high demand programs including biomedical services, supply chain management, health sciences, and computer science. Improved efficiency of budgeting, program planning, and evaluation activities. Read article.