As the strategic nonprofit partner of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), AchieveMpls mobilizes a wide web of community support to ensure academic achievement, equitable opportunities and career and college readiness for all students. We believe that preparing our young people to succeed in school, work and life is the best investment we can make in our city’s health and vitality.
Impact and Programs
In 2014, 2,067 students completed STEP-UP Work Readiness Training. This year we significantly deepened the training experience for 660 STEP-UP Discover students by doubling classroom training time for all Discover trainees from five to ten hours. Additionally, all Achieve trainees participated in intake interviews with trainers, enabling us to evaluate their skills and place them in optimal internship opportunities. Finally, by moving our work preference form online and eliminating the deadline for submitting a paper form, we were able to streamline a process that used to be a barrier for some successful trainees to move on to job placement.
2014 has been one of our most successful employer recruitment seasons, with 50 new employers pledging more than 100 new jobs. In total, we placed 765 trainees in STEP-UP Achieve summer internships with 162 employers. Hundreds more trainees were placed in STEP-UP Discover internships with local nonprofits managed by the City of Minneapolis.
At the end of their summer 2013 internships, 97% of interns said their job was a valuable learning experience, and 87% said their job has made them realize why it is important to do well in school. 85% of interns had a mentor in their workplace; one third met with the CEO of their company, and 90% said their job helped them improve at least one 21st Century skill.
Last school year, for the first time, we were able to track individual student usage of the CCCs using swipe card scanners. Our 9 coordinators serving 12 schools (the “Big 7” and 5 alternative schools) met one-on-one with 2,704 students. That is over 1/3 of all students. They gave one-on-one post-secondary help to over 75% of all seniors.
93% of seniors in MPS’ 7 major high schools met with a college representative. 86% filled out a college application. And CCC coordinators confirmed that 99% of students had a plan for life after graduation.
According to federal statistics, 58% of students in the Big 7 MPS high schools completed a FAFSA. This number underestimates the total number signing up for aid because of undocumented students who apply for state funds through the MN Dream Act.
We do not yet have final numbers on total students completing the ACT. CCC coordinators with instrumental in coordinating the testing day and in offering test prep at many high schools.
We also do not yet know the number of last year’s seniors who will enroll in college in the upcoming months.
Last year, 767 community volunteers gave more than 3,800 hours to Minneapolis Public School students through AchieveMpls Outreach and Partnership programs. They mentored students as Graduation Coaches, inspired them with stories of their professional journeys during career fairs, and offered multi-week workshops in financial literacy and career skills. 96% of volunteers said they had a rewarding experience.
175 community members served as Graduation Coaches to 181 students in all seven major Minneapolis High Schools. These coaches met every month with students to help them learn about college and career readiness and stay on track to graduate. 72% of students in the program demonstrated increased college and career knowledge, and 98% said the program made them more likely to apply to college.
Hundreds of community members attended Our City, Our Schools (OCOS) and EDTalks events. EDTalks turnout was particularly strong, with 300 people attending four events featuring presentations by experts on areas like STEM education, encouraging perseverance, and urban mentoring. More than a third of the total EDTalks audience was attending their first education event. Although we staged three OCOS meetings last year, attendance was disappointing. Last year OCOS was redesigned as a partnership with MPS’ Office of Student & Family Engagement in order to reach more diverse audiences. Although we are pleased with the diversity of OCOS participants (more than 60% were people of color) coordinating with MPS proved more challenging than expected, with several events having to be postponed or canceled. This year, we have created a new model for OCOS focused on smaller presentations to community groups.
Senior MPS and AchieveMpls leaders have worked together to create a shared definition of College and Career Readiness and shared metrics for evaluating success. We are also cooperating on developing a set of standardized College and Career Readiness best-practices for use in high schools district-wide.
We have established a data-sharing agreement with MPS that offers access to student-level data. We are also working closely with MPS officials on projects to boost FAFSA completion and ACT success, particularly for low-income students and students of color.
1. CCC coordinators will ensure every senior has an academic and financial plan for life after high school.
2. 90% of graduating seniors will submit an application to a post-secondary education institution.
3. At least 2,000 low-income youth complete our four-week Work Readiness Training, and at least 750 young people experience meaningful, paid summer employment with STEP-UP Achieve. Hundreds of other successful trainees will be placed in jobs with nonprofit groups through STEP-UP Discover, run by the City Of Minneapolis.
4. Over 160 employers partner with STEP-UP Achieve to hire low-income students for paid internships.
5. More than 700 community members will give more than 4,000 hours of service to Minneapolis students.
6. Over 500 students participating in the Graduation Coach program will build a relationship with a caring adult, complete important college-going milestones, and complete the program on track to graduate.
Community or Constituency Served
AchieveMpls offers career and college readiness services to high school students in Minneapolis. We also act as the non-profit pass-through organization for the Minneapolis Public Schools. In that role we manage over 100 scholarships and school and department funds.
Geographic Area Served