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College, Career, and Civic Readiness

Developing Alternative Placement Criteria for English Courses at City College of San Francisco

Recognizing the need to improve postsecondary access and success for underrepresented populations, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), City College of San Francisco (CCSF), the City and County of San Francisco, and key community organizations formed the Bridge to Success initiative in 2009. Gardner Center has partnered with Bridge to Success to inform the initiative with data analysis.

Analyzing Evidence of College Readiness: A Tri-Level Empirical and Conceptual Framework

Research draws a distinction between college eligibility and college readiness. For example, a student may graduate high school with sufficient credits to enroll in a postsecondary institution, but still lack the academic skills, study habits, and college knowledge to succeed. Previous reviews of research on college readiness systems highlight individual-level indicators of whether a student is on track to be ready for college.

California Alternative Education Initiative

The Gardner Center is a leader in conducting research and descriptive studies of California’s growing alternative schools.  The California Department of Education (CDE) identifies more than 1000 public alternative schools across the state (predominantly high schools) designed to meet the needs of credit-deficient and other youth vulnerable to dropping out before completing the minimum requirements for a regular high school diploma.

Promoting Educational Equity through Expanded Learning Opportunities

A project to commission a set of papers from scholars across a broad range of disciplines to explore the instatiations of the More and Better Learning Time approach that work to motivate high-school-age youth, engage entire communities in the schooling and youth development enterprise, and seek to disrupt persistent patterns of unequal opportunity. The papers will also explore the promise of collective efforts that bring together equity advocates, researchers, and practitioners around a common purpose.

Building the Capacity of Community Foundations to Use Data

This project supports California community foundations to use data strategically and effectively to address barriers facing low-income students in pursuing and completing postsecondary education. Through College Futures Foundation’s Community Philanthropy for Student Success Initiative, the Gardner Center couples research and capacity building, working in partnership with multiple community foundations who are engaged in improving equitable college attainment.


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