90% of teachers say that Project SUCCESS helps students improve their tenacity and grit, problem solving, engagement, goal-setting, future planning, peer cooperation, post-secondary education planning, self-awareness, motivation to succeed, and confidence.
How They Work:
Each student participates in a series of eight Project SUCCESS-facilitated workshops —the foundation of our program model — held monthly in the classroom during each school year. Workshops are led by highly trained, Project SUCCESS facilitators — 80% of their time is spent in the schools — using our proven grade-specific, cumulative curriculum, that is aligned with the English standards-based academic curriculum and is specifically designed to help students set and achieve goals.
Throughout the school year, Project SUCCESS program facilitators assigned to that school work alongside teachers in all English and Language Arts classrooms. We are the only program that comes to every English classroom, every month for each student, including Basic English, Special Education, English Language Learners (ELL), Advanced Placement, Emotionally and Behaviorally Disabled, Deaf/Hard of Hearing and all other groupings of students. Students do not need to find us – we come to them. We do not use a set of criteria to select a group of students so no one falls through the cracks, no one is differentiated, and all students benefit as a community.
Our middle school curriculum goals are to facilitate the students’ self-understanding, ability to set and achieve goals, and preparation for the transition to high school. We do this through a variety of activities—drama exercises, group games, writing explorations, guest artists, discussions, and/or whatever else the facilitator thinks would assist the achievement of our mission within a particular class. While we always keep the focus on students’ hopes, goals and dreams—much of the workshop curriculum varies by grade in order to address the changing needs of the students.
Our high school curriculum goals are to help students further explore their self-understanding and passions and what they want out of high school, develop their skills to research and make choices, and prepare for life after graduation. By spring of their senior year, we want all students to have a personal, post-high school plan that best suits their needs, personalities, and goals and the life-skills that will serve their long-term future
How Workshops Make a Difference:
Students who accomplished goals they never believed themselves capable of achieving have told facilitators, "I was able to do it because you believed I could."
Through in-class, goal-setting workshops Project SUCCESS helps*:
- students strengthen their belief that success is possible and within their control
- demonstrate to students that school work is relevant and valuable to their lives outside of school
- provide student with a caring adult outside of their family
- promote positive, nurturing student-teacher relationships
- teach students to work cooperatively, understand each other, and build a supportive peer community
- foster students’ sense of belonging in their school and larger community
- allow teachers to observe, engage with and learn about their students in a non-threatening, non-judgmental context
- provide students with opportunities to further develop their identity and exercise autonomy and voice
- foster students’ ability to choose among alternative courses of action and cope with unexpected changes
- teach students the value of hard work, productive employment and continuing education
- help them develop lifelong skills in setting short-and long-term goals
- reinforce personal responsibility and self-esteem
These outcomes above help students define a clear and confirmed sense of purpose and passion — nurturing their sparks and giving them opportunities for their voices to be heard on key issues that matter to them:
- More than 91% of middle school students in Project SUCCESS indicated the program “helped me think about my future” and 88% said the program “helped me to set goals.”
- Nine out of ten of high school students said Project SUCCESS “helped me create a plan for after graduation.”
- When asked who “assisted them in future planning,” 89% of high school students rated Project SUCCESS ahead of friends, counselors and teachers and second only to parents or guardians
- Nearly all teachers believe that Project SUCCESS helps students to be better problem solvers, be more self-aware of their strengths, be more motivated to succeed in school, and set goals for the future.
- Nearly all alumni believe that Project SUCCESS helped them to be more motivated to succeed in school, be more self-directed, evaluate progress toward goals, and create a plan for after graduation.
Results taken from a recent evaluation of Project SUCCESS students, alumni, parents and teachers, conducted by The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement of the University of Minnesota.