Pathways to Student Success: One Year Later

Hello readers! I hope you are all getting ready to wrap up your 2009 with not only a sigh of relief but also a sight of something brighter in 2010. It was this time last year when the Center released its first philanthropic investment guide in education titled, Pathways to Student Success: A Guide To Translating Good Intentions Into Meaningful Impact. Authored by Dr. Hilary Rhodes, et al., it outlines the education pathway, defines the core problem of high school drop out rates among at-risk, disadvantaged youth and its negative societal effects, and provides opportunities for philanthropic help along each step of the pathway.

This foundational research addresses the following 3 questions:

  1. What is a meaningful change (impact) to target?
  2. What activities lead to that meaningful change for at-risk students?
  3. How much does it cost to achieve that change?

The guide focuses on direct service program models (Promising Practices) as well as information on external groups that serve disadvantaged students and the teachers that work with them. There are four ways that we suggest the guide can be used by philanthropists:

  1. Fund one of the many models  or Promising Practices discussed.
  2. Promote the entrepreneurial use of these models by other organizations.
  3. Create an entirely new model to address an issue outlined in the report.
  4. Use the evidence presented in the report to test the value proposition of program models other than the ones  discussed.

Since its release last December 2008, Pathways is now listed in the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) database, searchable by Reference #ED504280. In addition, the Posse Foundation, one of the organizations mentioned in the guide, has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, the Chase Community Giving Challenge provided the opportunity for people to vote on facebook for their favorite charities to win $25,000, with a grand prize of $5 million. A good number of the charities eligible were highlighted in Pathways, as well as in our other reports. You can also find it mentioned on the web in the following places:

Be sure to check in with us in the New Year, as we are well underway into working on our Action Agenda for the next philanthropic investment guides in education and global health, focusing on Teaching Quality and Child Survival, respectively.