The GWCEF begins with a vision of student success for all, where college and career opportunities are developed and clearly defined, giving each student the ability to choose a productive pathway in school, college, career, and life, based on equitable access to high-quality education (e.g. effective teaching & learning, social-emotional learning, and exposure to real-world career experiences) that increases postsecondary attainment (i.e. college degrees and/or industry-valued certification) moving all students towards economic and social stability and freedom. The 20 years of empirical educational & social research conducted by Jerome Taylor, Ed.D. (founder), Shawn Donaldson, Ph.D. (co-founder and a sociology professor at Stockton University), and Caesar Mickens, Ph.D. (foundation partner and Director of Early College Designs for Jobs for the Future) from 1995-2015 provided a basis for the development of GWCEF in 2016. This initial research and study led to the three significant emerging themes which are the core elements of the foundation’s work:
(a) Equity: All students, if exposed to high-quality, effective teaching & learning, can be successful in school, college, career, & in life;
(b) Acceleration: Every school district, regardless of their current data or community served, can "accelerate learning" for all students when a district-wide, comprehensive, effective approach to teaching & learning is implemented;
(c) Support: Parents & communities can be the deciding factor in removing academic and nonacademic barriers to learning and student success and must be brought to the “decision table” to maximize outcomes.
Our research, data, and fieldwork in early college designs in New Jersey have underscored our commitment to developing and designing a comprehensive student success network in New Jersey of highly effective teachers, principals, and district administrators, who all work in concert to mitigate the prevailing statistics in their communities. This network of student success is the overarching conceptual framework for the work done by the GWCEF and its partners. There are four programs that the Carver Foundation currently are implementing in New Jersey:
(1) Carver Early College (a PreK-12 program design); (addressing equity and acceleration);
(2) Carver Tech (a CTE-related program design); (addressing equity and acceleration);
(3) The RUDI Project (a focus in rural & urban school districts) (addressing equity, acceleration, & support);
(4) The Cross-County Network Project (addressing integrated student support in low-performing school districts).
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