2017 Cohort, AmeriCorps State and National Evidence Based Intervention Planning Grants

In 2017, CNCS awarded AmeriCorps State and National Evidence Based Intervention planning grants to seven organizations developing new national service models that seek to integrate AmeriCorps members in innovative ways into evidence-based interventions.

Click on each grantee’s name to learn more about their CNCS funded research.

Antioch University

Antioch University is a source of innovation in post-secondary education, serving students around the world and across the country, online, and from its five campuses. Antioch University creates and offers industry-recognized certifications that are stackable, portable, and in some cases, transferable to college credit.

Through its 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Evidence-based Intervention Planning grant, Antioch University is exploring a program that creates pathways for further education and job prospects related to the health and science fields. One specific program looks at the impact of insect vector-borne diseases nationwide, and how participants can make a difference in preventing Zika virus outbreaks. By partnering with Job Corps, Antioch University’s AmeriCorps program gains access to a wide pool of potential members from the separate program. In return, Antioch University’s curriculum and post-secondary instructional services help students stay committed to the Job Corps program and receive the full benefits.

In developing the program model, Antioch University reviewed Job Corps objectives and reports, and met with students, center operators, and government representatives. Initial research into the program revealed an effective model, but with challenges such as the need for participants to gain more real world experience; also, the need to continue for more months in the program to gain better credentials and certifications required for post-secondary education or the attainment of jobs that pay a living wage. The university, Job Corps and partners will help address these challenges and improve student outcomes.

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Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness (ARCH) 

Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness (ARCH) fights to end homelessness in Northeast Tennessee by coordinating and empowering the efforts of diverse charities, civic organizations, nonprofits, and public institutions working to address homelessness. The coalition provides a variety of services to those organizations, including technical assistance, consulting, program evaluation, homeless management information systems, education, and public awareness advocacy.

ARCH received a 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Evidence-based Intervention Planning grant to develop an evidence-based national service program featuring AmeriCorps members. Through its grant, ARCH will implement a coordinated entry system to help comply with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing First mandate. ARCH will utilize AmeriCorps members to provide services to homeless and economically disadvantaged populations, thereby offering access points in various Tennessee counties to serve those populations.

ARCH’s program will have a method for assessing homeless clients to provide a pipeline for its coordinated entry housing services. Coordinated entry helps communities prioritize assistance based on vulnerability and severity of service needs to ensure that people who need assistance the most receive it in a timely manner. Meanwhile, HUD’s Housing First Mandate aims to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions that can introduce barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment, or service participation requirements.

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Artesian Schools, Inc. 

Artesian Schools, Inc. is a charter management organization focused on filling gaps in K-12 education. Its newest school, Southwest Early College High School (SECHS), offers a new model to the Memphis area, through which students can graduate from high school with a college-level associate degree to provide a leg up as they pursue further higher education or employment.

Through its 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Evidence-based Intervention Planning grant, Artesian is implementing a comprehensive student support program at SECHS, modeled after a federal program called Talent Search, which is designed to provide high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds with mentors and tutors to aid in academic, career, and financial counseling. Each student receives individualized attention in areas critical to college attendance and persistence, which fills a critical need that a school counselor does not have the capacity to address alone with a caseload of up to 400 students. Artesian will leverage AmeriCorps members so that mentors and tutors will be at the school every day.

Before choosing the Talent Search model, Artesian conducted research and conversations to reveal best practices and blueprints on the model that it could use for implementing its program. Artesian is now incorporating aspects of the Talent Search model into SECHS, as well as evaluating its performance.

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Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) 

Founded by alumni of the federal National Health Service Corps, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) is committed to educating, encouraging, and enabling healthcare providers of all backgrounds to practice in underserved communities across the country. The organization engages providers early in their clinical careers, helping to place them in safety net organizations that then provide guidance and experience, while simultaneously serving those communities in need.

ACU is using its 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Evidence-based Intervention Planning grant to create an AmeriCorps program where members will be trained as patient “connectors” to provide patient-centered interventions such as case management assistance with coverage enrollment, accessing primary care services, and awareness/effective utilization of health care resources across the respective individual’s continuum of care. The program will help further expand ACU’s work training and engaging motivated people to learn about these critical safety net organizations, thus driving more workers and clinicians to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas.

ACU plans to use pre- and post-service surveys at its initial service sites to collect member data, along with other methods of tracking participation throughout the service period. While the start of the program will be limited in scope, once ACU evaluates the program, it can then look toward using the program as the foundation for growth and future opportunities with a wider range of partners.

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Campus Compact of the Mountain West (CCMW)

For years, Campus Compact of the Mountain West (CCMW) has collaborated with the Civic Health Network to develop a strategy for civic learning and engagement – also thought of as citizen involvement – from kindergarten through higher education (K2H).
 
Using their 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Evidence-based Intervention Planning grant, CCMW will convene education teams across the Mountain West to apply national service resources to the development of civic learning and engagement pipelines from kindergarten through higher education. These education teams will be comprised of AmeriCorps members, K-12 teachers and administrators, higher education faculty, and community partners who will choose from various evidence-based models of civic learning and engagement for implementation or expansion. 
 
The strategy strengthens partnerships between K-12 and higher education systems, expanding and deepening opportunities for students to become involved in their communities as part of their educational experience and assessing the effects of that engagement throughout their education careers. CCMW’s community-based, team-centered strategy is critical to the successful development and implementation of its school-based programs. This approach enables CCMW to assess impacts across a small number of vetted civic learning and engagement programs to determine which intervention best fits the unique needs of each school to achieve the desired results.
 
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Children's Forum

The Children’s Forum (the Forum) has a simple and impactful vision: to create connected and engaged communities that support children for life-long success. The Forum works to influence young children’s early learning skills while also building and diversifying the early learning workforce.

Through workforce studies and other research in the field of early learning, the Forum identified the need for safe and high-quality educational environments for young children. This need not only includes reaching children in high-need populations, but also extends to gaps within the workforce that cares for and educates young children. Several years ago, the Forum received a federal grant to implement a relationship-based coaching model. The success of their experiences with this model informed the Forum’s decision to continue exploring it, while also incorporating best practices from literature on early learning.

Now, the Forum is using its 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Evidence-based Intervention Planning grant to plan an implementation model for providing evidence-based interventions to young children and support early learning classroom teachers through a relationship-based coaching model.

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The National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens

Since 2010, the National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens (the Network) has worked to build a strong, national network of citizens returning from incarceration who support each other’s successful reintegration into their communities. The organization also advocates for policy reforms that promote restorative practices and reductions in incarceration.

While Washington, D.C., has a number of programs that work with juveniles returning to the community from incarceration, there is very little support for adults. Many return to society facing fines, child support, and other head of household responsibilities. The Network is using its 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Evidence-based Intervention Planning grant to implement the wraparound services of the Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI) by offering coaching and social support as returning citizens seek driver’s licenses/identification, health insurance, shelter, and transportation; to name a few. The Network’s introduction of AmeriCorps members as peer mentors is unique to the existing BRI model – this will allow citizens returning from incarceration the opportunity to learn skills as AmeriCorps members, assist returning citizens with obtaining tangible outcomes, and provide additional support, all while providing a valuable service to Washington, D.C.

As the Network implements this program, it will use its planning grant to effectively recruit, screen, train, and supervise the evaluation of the AmeriCorps members serving as peer mentors. The grant will also support efforts to establish strong partnerships with the Bureau of Prisons and the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs in order to provide a cooperative continuum of care. Finally, the grant will allow the Network to work with an evaluation expert, prioritizing data collection methods and measurable outcomes.

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