The Building Community Capacity for Educational Excellence (BC2E2) Project of the Borderlands Center for Educational Studies (BoCES) was initiated in late 2010 with funding from the New Mexico Public Education Department Lograr Institute and sponsorship from New Mexico State University College of Education.
Three concurrent components occurred from January to June 2011: a youth leadership piece, a parent leadership piece, and a series of cross cultural learning and sharing dialogues which were attended by all of the youth and parent leadership participants.
Specifically for the parent participants,the target outcomes included increased awareness/understanding about a) the education system, b) what educational excellence is, and c) how to advocate for educational excellence.
The target outcome specifically for the youth participants included increased education advocacy skills.
Increased cross-cultural and inter-generational understanding and ownership of student success were two additional outcomes for all dialogue participants, including the parent and youth leadership members.
Preliminary Descriptive Results
Twenty-six parents started and completed the parent leadership series. Based on post retrospective assessment results from 24 of the parents, it appears that 100% were pleased with the series and as a result, would recommend the workshop to others.
Descriptive findings suggest that for approximately 50% of the parents, the project may have helped to increase their confidence in talking to others about what helps all students succeed in school, getting involved on a school committee to improve education, and finding information about and preparing for college.
The findings also suggest that for well over half of the participants (58 to 74%), the project may have helped to increase their familiarity of a) why so many students are not succeeding in school, b) what parents can do to help their children do well in school, and c) what the schools can focus on to help all students do well in school.
Ten high school age youth completed out of seventeen that started the project. Based on responses to the post retrospective survey, all the youth were also pleased with the series and would recommend the workshop to others. Descriptive findings suggest that for approximately 50% of the youth participants, the project may have helped to increase their confidence in talking to others about what helps all students succeed in school, getting involved on a committee to improve education, and finding information about and preparing for college.
The findings also suggest that for one third to a little over half of the participants (33% to 56%), the project may have helped to increase their familiarity with why so many students are not succeeding in school, things youth can do to help more students do well in school, and things the schools can focus on to help more students do well in school.
Over 72 parents, youth, teachers, administrators, higher education faculty, community members, and elected officials attended the community dialogues. Based on post assessment results (N = 68), it appears that most of the participants benefited by participating and would recommend the dialogue to others. The descriptive findings suggest that approximately 90% knew more about what educational excellence is and the kinds of things that help all students do well in school as a direct result of participating in the dialogue. Anywhere from 93 to 98% responded that they were more aware of the importance of a) the community having high expectations in every direction, b) the entire community rallying around this issue, c) adults in our community seeing our youth as assets, and d) involving youth more in decision making in the policy arena as a direct result of participating. Finally, approximately 80% indicated that in the near future they were “very likely” talk to others about what helps all students succeed in school and the importance of raising expectations community-wide.
While these findings are encouraging, it is important to note that these results are strictly descriptive in nature. What this means is that any changes that occurred between the start and completion of the BC2E2 activities can not be directly linked to the intervention at this time. The goal is to move beyond descriptive statistics in the future – this will make it possible to determine whether the intervention itself can be definitely linked to the outcomes.
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