For Gratiot, Saginaw, Midland, and Isabella Counties
The Institute for Excellence in Education’s Drop Out Prevention (DOP): Success Maker program funded in partnership with Michigan Works Region 5 and Jobs for Michigan Graduates are designed to help motivate unengaged students in order to keep them in the classroom through graduation and to prepare them for career and/or college success. Success Maker Scholars are identified for the DOP: Success Maker program through an eligibility audit based on US Department of Labor WIOA requirements and in partnership with school officials.
Success Maker Scholars participate in an array of services including:
- Closing academic skill gaps in English Language Arts and Mathematics
- Leadership development though service-learning experience
- Adult mentoring
- Career planning and support
- Paid and Unpaid Work Experiences
Why Students Drop Out
According to research, youth drop out of school for multiple reasons, they:
- participate in risky behaviors such as drug abuse, crime, truancy, and/or risky sexual behavior.
- experience prolonged academic failure leading to low confidence level.
- experience complicated life situations such as teen pregnancy, employment, mobility, homelessness
- lack understanding and ability to navigate the bureaucracy of school.
The need for this program
Educators are tasked with teaching curriculum and supporting the vast array of needs presented by students. Current systems are at maximum capacity and are unable to support students as they navigate the challenges identified above.
The DOP Success Makers program provides additional support to the students who need it the most. The project expands the work beyond academic support to include leadership development, adult mentoring, and career planning and support.
The focus on soft skills helps to build individual student efficacy and to keep scholars in school. Without the basic skills of academics, collaboration, punctuality, and others, it is impossible for an individual to maintain employment. An unskilled workforce drains the community both through the lack of labor and the social supports needed to finance unemployment. Drop Out Prevention: Success Maker heads this problem off before it begins by focusing on keeping struggling student in school and ensuring that they see a pathway to employment and success. Students engage in deepening their understanding of who they are and who they want to become to be their best self. This process shifts thinking from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset and opens doors for students to remain in school to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful.
One large barrier to student graduation is the state requirement for students to take four years of mathematics and four years of ELA. Once students fail the Algebra or Freshman English course their likelihood of graduating on time is significantly diminished. DOP: Success Makers helps to keep students on track by supporting their understanding and application of ELA and mathematics through adult mentoring.
What to Expect
As a student, you will meet with your Success Coach and start mapping out a road to graduation and building that relationship with your coach. Before doing that, the coach will need to deem you eligible for Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates or the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act grants. Part of this process will require the coach to get personal information from the student and/or guardian including social security card, birth certificate, household income, etc. The coach will also ask the student and parent or guardian to sign a release of information. This allows the coach to obtain important information from the school such as academic transcripts, free and reduced lunch forms, class schedule, etc. Once your coach can collect all of this information from the student and/or parent, the coach can then begin to enroll the student into either the JMG or WIOA programs or possibly dual enroll into both programs.