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Initiatives

Praxis Approach
Past Initiatives
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Past Initiatives

Sports and Learning

2003-2005. Designed and assisted with implementation of a pilot youth program that combines supplemental academic learning with sports. Collaborated with Howard University Dept. of Physical Education, Langston in the 21st Century Foundation, and Langston Golf Course to establish a Youth and Community Educational Center at Langston Golf Course, a historically African-American public golf course in the District of Columbia. Children and youth participating in junior golf programs earned golf privileges by participating in individualized academic lessons delivered in a well-equipped computer lab in the clubhouse. Developed self-paced courses that teach academic skills in the functional context of sports. The pilot demonstrated that extra hours of learning can be integrated successfully in youth sports and recreation programs. The program was continued by Golf Exposure, which operates a robust junior golf and academics program for city youth at Langston Golf Course. Portions of the pilot project and the Extralearning Online subscriptions were funded by Langston in the 21st Century Foundation.

Ethiopia Extralearning Centers

2002-2003. Planned and installed three Extralearning skill centers in Ethiopia under the aegis of Opportunities Industrialization Centers International (OICI). Trained staff of OIC Ethiopia, an indigenous NGO, in use of Extralearning curriculum and management system for use in skills training programs serving youth and adults. Funded by OIC International.

Kids Academy Incentive Program

2001-2004. Developed system for providing self-paced multimedia learning to children ranging from preschoolers through middle school students. Integrated various education technologies and educational materials -- such as LeapFrog's LeapPad learning system -- in a a replicable model. Piloted the system in a public housing community center operated by Dover Housing Authority. Provided incentives for parent and child learning. Provided training curriculum for teens to serve as tutors and aides in the Kids Academy learning lab. The program successfully engaged young learners, parents and public school partners and has been expanded by Dover Housing Authority.

South Africa Partnership Initiative

1997-1998. Developed partnership with EDL Foundation of South Africa to manage Extralearning replication and adaptation in South Africa. Assisted in planning of first two learning centers; one located in suburban Johannesburg shopping center and the second sited in a rural youth community center in what is now Limpopo Province. EDL Foundation has replicated the learning system in youth and adult education and work preparation programs throughout the country under the name EduTrac.

Extralearning (also called "EXTRA" for a time)

1997-2003. Major update of the Comprehensive Competencies Program (CCP) curriculum and management systems, plus integration of skill specific Internet links. Changed learning system name to Extralearning.

Retail Industry Skills Curriculum

1997-1998. Collaborated with TRAC/USA, a business-education partnership intermediary, to develop a comprehensive Professional Sales Associate training curriculum and program model based on industry skill standards developed by retailers under a national project directed by the National Retail Federation. Portions of the project were funded by the National Retail Federation Foundation.

Mall Career Academy

1992-2000. Designed and assisted with implementation of an alternative high school career academy model, located in shopping malls and operated by local public schools and community organizations in partnership with mall developers and employers. Collaborated with TRAC/USA, a business-education partnership intermediary, to adapt a work-based learning model developed by Dusseldorp Skills Forum of Australia. The career academy model combined computer-based self-paced high school courses, career and life skills development, and service learning. Students attended all classes at the mall and graduated with a diploma and work-assessed skills. The model has been cited and endorsed by three national business organizations, and one of the mall academies received a national Outstanding Career Academy award. The model continues to be replicated widely.

Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP)

1989-1993. Ford Foundation funded this project, which was designed by Dr. Robert Taggart of Remediation and Training Institute and implemented by OIC of America under Benjamin Lattimore's direction.

The initiative used a "gold standard" multi-site research model. Poor minority 14 year olds, living in poverty neighborhoods, were randomly assigned to a control group or to the Quantum Opportunity Program. QOP created a group of 25 youth in each of five cities who were enrolled for four years. A QOP Coordinator was available seven days a week to mentor and guide the youth in group settings and 1:1. The program provided financial incentives for completion of up to 250 hours a year of structured individualized and self-paced education outside of school hours, 250 hours of community service, and 250 hours of youth development. This balanced mix of group cohesion, a caring adult mentor, incentives, extra learning opportunities, youth development experiences, and giving back produced strong results:

       

  QOP Youth (%) Control Group (%)
Graduated High School
63%
42%
Enrolled Post-Secondary
42
16
Dropped out of High School
23
50
Parented Child
25
38
Arrested Ever
7
13
 

IBM Partnership Project: Basic Skills Investment Centers

1988 - 1990. A school-based "Basic Skills Investment Center" learning lab using the Comprehensive Competencies Program (CCP) was designed for the IBM personal computer technology platform and implemented in 10 public schools across multiple states. The project documented strong reading and math gains and caught the attention of school administrators around the country. Within two years, half of all new learning centers using the CCP were started by public schools to serve youth at risk of dropping out of school. This project was funded by Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

United States Basic Skills Investment Corporation (US BASICS)

1987-1988. Created an internal division to manage the operational side of CCP replication and support and began operating everything except R&D under the US BASICS name. Established and spun-off US BASICS as an independent tax-exempt corporation in 1989, with a non-exclusive and non-transferable license to market the Comprehensive Competencies Program (CCP). Remediation and Training Institute retained ownership of CCP copyrights.

Sports Basics

1988. Collaborated with Howard University Physical Education Department to design and pilot a program to increase the academic skills of inner city and disadvantaged young people of outstanding athletic skills. The project provided a coordinator/advisor who matched each young athlete with a Comprehensive Competencies Program (CCP) learning center in their city and monitored their progress through self-paced remedial assignments. At least one of these young athletes is playing in the National Football League today.

Citizenship Competencies Project

1987. Developed and field-tested a self-paced Citizenship Competencies multi-media curriculum as a companion to the CCP English As Second Language curriculum developed earlier. Successful completion of the Citizenship Competencies courses improved the citizenship test success rate among undocumented aliens applying for amnesty under immigration reform legislation. This project was funded by Ford Foundation.

Basic Skills Investment Fund

1986 - 1988. Established and managed a $1.5 million revolving loan fund used to purchase computer equipment and learning materials at volume discounts and made these available through sale or lease to nonprofit organizations establishing or expanding community learning centers. This Fund was an outstanding success. It enabled hundreds of community programs to achieve savings that were redirected to program activity, and to pay for learning center infrastructure investments over time with revenues generated from program activity. The Fund was provided as a Program Related Investment (PRI) from Ford Foundation.

Training and Technical Assistance Improvement Project

1986-1988. Developed a national training and technical assistance network of experienced practitioners to support replication of learning centers using the Comprehensive Competencies Program (CCP). Project produced user guides, standardized training materials, annual national conference, a quarterly Trainers Academy for certifying practioners, and a trainer rating system. New learning centers were required to receive training from a certified trainer, but made a market-based selection from among available independent certified trainers based on trainer cost and experience ratings provided by other learning centers. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation funded this initiative.

Hispanic Youth Education Research Project

1985-1986. Developed and field-tested an individualized, self-paced, competency-based and multi-media English As Second Language (ESL) curriculum and compared gain scores of experimental group with traditional group classroom ESL group using standardized ESL tests. Those who used the "CCP ESL" self-paced learning curricula had much greater test score gains than those enrolled in traditional ESL classrooms. This project was funded by Ford Foundation.

Comprehensive Competencies Program (CCP) Expansion

1985-1989. Growth and replication of CCP was supported with multi-year Ford Foundation funding. Activities included: ongoing curricula and technology improvements and developments; program development and marketing; user support services; training; conferences; and research and evaluation. Approximately 100 new learning centers using the CCP were opened each year by community organizations, workforce development programs, jails, schools and community colleges, and public agencies. Collectively, these centers served tens of thousands of youth and adults in basic skills programs. A third-party evaluation by Northeastern University documented the effectiveness of the learning system in raising reading and math scores for all subgroups.

Learning Opportunity Centers Pilot Project

1983-1984. Collaborated with Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America (OIC) to pilot the Comprehensive Competencies Program first version in OIC community-based affiliates. These learning centers were branded by OIC with the name "Learning Opportunity Center." The CCP learning system proved successful in raising reading and math scores of disadvantaged youth and adults at low cost. The pilot also showed that program replication could be accelerated by adapting the franchise model used in the commercial sector. The Learning Opportunity Center OIC brand continues today. Ford Foundation and Control Data Corporation supported this project.

Comprehensive Competencies Program (CCP) Development

1982-1983. Development of a self-paced and competency-based learning system that integrated the most effective basic skills instruction approaches and materials, plus state-of-the-art technologies, into a system which could be replicated in varied institutional settings to meet diverse learner populations using a business franchise approach.

Youth Knowledge Development Project

1980-1982. Research and policy project to glean policy lessons from the Youth Employment Demonstration Projects Act (YEDPA). (YEDPA was a $2 billion per year federal youth employment program that included over $600 million for research and demonstration projects between 1978 and 1981.)

Project products: Two influential policy books published by W. E. Upjohn; successful addition of youth basic skills and workforce competencies requirement to federal employment and training legislation; synthesis of research on effective basic skills instructional approaches; establishment of Remediation and Training Institute as a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation; design of framework for developing a self-paced competency-based learning system. Charles Stewart Mott Foundation funded this project.



     

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