Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR Partner: City Year

Recent college grads help at-risk students stay in school

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One million U.S. students drop out of school every year, and 50 percent of them come from just 12 percent of schools. City Year aims to reverse the trend by sending mentors to the most at-risk schools and students. Since 1993, Cisco technology has been helping City Year train corps members and support their work to keep more students in school and on track to graduation.

Who: Tutors keep students engaged, in class, and on track to graduate

With Cisco support, City Year developed a “Whole School, Whole Child” service model in 2006 that deploys corps members to work in at-risk schools, serving as tutors, mentors, and role models. These efforts are helping City Year meet its goal of ensuring 80 percent of its students reach the 10th grade on track and on time, making them four times more likely to graduate with their peers.

  • City Year corps members work in 240+ schools in 23 U.S. cities
  • More than 150,000 students have been tutored by City Year since 2006
  • Working full time for 10 months, corps members help high-risk students improve attendance, behavior, and course performance in English and math—the factors known as the early warning indicators for high school dropouts

How: Network technology delivers training and helps measure results

By providing its full array of information and communication technology (ICT) products and expertise, Cisco helps City Year deliver, administer, and track the progress of its Whole School, Whole Child service model.

  • With Cisco WebEx and Cisco Telepresence, corps members attend training sessions and meetings, and collaborate on best practices without having to travel, saving time and money
  • Cisco’s ICT tools allow City Year’s corps members to share and access resources and help the organization to track results

Impact Multiplied

Schools that partner with City Year report improved academic performance and attendance.

  • 61% of Washington, DC, City Year students increased one or more reading levels, versus 39% of non-City Year students
  • 85% of all students tutored by City Year in grades 3 through 5 improved their raw literacy scores
  • 46% of students grades 6 through 9 improved their attendance by at least one percentage point, or two school days
  • A collaboration with Cisco partner MIND Research Institute increased math proficiency scores at 5 Silicon Valley schools by an average of 11.2 points, compared to 4.2 points at nonparticipating schools
  • 86% of principals/liaisons agreed or strongly agreed that City Year after-school programs helped strengthen students’ academic performance
  • 17,066 corps members have reached 1.3 million students and completed 26 million hours of service since 1989

“We can’t be successful in public education unless we get all our students graduated from high school. The dropout rate stands as a true barrier to that success. I think City Year has taken that as a major goal and a major initiative. I can’t think of a stronger gap-closer than the work the City Year teams have done in our schools.” – Dr. Carol Johnson, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools

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