What We Do
AmeriCorps CalPREP partnership was formed in 2013 to address the low college-going rates in economically disadvantaged communities. Through the program, teams of AmeriCorps members are placed in communities to develop volunteer mentor programs at Partner Schools, harnessing the community’s desire to give students a bright future.
The Partner Schools we serve exhibit high concentrations of minority students, low socio-economic indicators, poor student achievement, low graduation rates and low levels of college-going. CalPREP aims to recruit volunteers to provide high-need students at these schools with one-on-one mentoring for college and career readiness. Additionally, the program will increase the organizational capacity of partner sites by building a strong infrastructure for volunteers, and strengthening community partnerships.
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Each AmeriCorps CalPREP Fellow focuses on generating volunteers and building infrastructure at their assigned Partner Site to engage community volunteers in support of struggling students. During their service term, every CalPREP Fellow will recruit and manage 25 on-going volunteer mentors to provide high-quality, college preparatory-focused mentoring to increase the college readiness of 2,000 high need students across the state. Youth-mentor matches will be initiated and sustained for a minimum of 6 months, with students receiving at least 12 hours of 1:1 mentoring. All CalPREP Fellow positions require a mix of supporting mentoring for college readiness, member training & coaching, community strengthening, and organizational capacity volunteer infrastructure building.
The program utilizes a hybrid of program-developed materials and existing curricula, including Believing the College Dream and Realizing the College Dream from UC Berkeley and College is in My Future from UC Santa Cruz . The curriculum is comprehensive, scripted and age appropriate, with versions for 5th grade, 6th-8th grades, 9th-11th grades, and 12th grade.
The curriculum focuses on three content areas:
- Habits of Mind
- College Knowledge
Take a look at this story from one of our CalPREP Fellows that shows the impact of just one of our hundreds of volunteer mentors: We had a registered nurse speak with the students in and share how she went into her career. The students seemed very receptive and curious about what she did and we emphasized the path to college and the importance of planning ahead.
At the end of the 3-year period, the program will have engaged over 3,000 volunteers and supported the development of sustainable volunteer programs at 40 high need schools and educational organizations.
Our specific goals include:
1. Engage volunteer mentors.
- 2,000 high need youth-mentor matches will be initiated by utilizing 1,000 mentor volunteers.
2. Increase student achievement.
- 80% of Elementary Students who received mentoring will increase their understanding by 20% in the areas where they previously rated below proficient.
- 80% of Middle Students who received mentoring will increase their understanding by 15% in the areas where they previously rated below proficient.
- 80% of High school students participating in the program are classified as “on track” for graduation.
- 80% of 12th Grade Students participating in the program will graduate within High School within 4 years.
- 70% of 12th Grade Students participating in the program will apply to college.
3. Bolster volunteer capacity.
- 40 schools/educational organizations will receive capacity building services from AmeriCorps members.
- 70% of Partner Sites receiving at least 400 hours of capacity building services will implement three or more effective management practices.
4. Help AmeriCorps members develop professionally.
- 70% of members will exhibit an increase in skill development and overall effectiveness of 20%.