2013 Catholic Education Summit at UD

Three Chaminade Julienne educators have been invited to present the City Connects program of optimized student support as a model for other schools at the Catholic Education Summit hosted July 12 by the Center for Catholic Education at the University of Dayton.

Student Support Coordinator Jama Badinghaus, Director of the Academic Office Steve Fuchs, and Assistant Principal Jason Unger (pictured left to right) will discuss how City Connects can help young people remove the socio-economic and socio-emotional roadblocks to success through strengthening community ties. The theme of this year’s conference is “Urban Catholic Education: Meeting the Needs of ALL Learners.”

More than 200 Catholic college, high school and elementary teachers and administrators from urban, rural and suburban institutions are expected to be in attendance. Presentations will focus on four topics: Mission and Catholic Identity; Governance and Leadership; Academic Excellence; and Operational Vitality. Visit www .udayton.edu for complete details.

City Connects is based on a model developed by the American School Counseling Association. The program was first implemented at the high school level at CJ in 2010. It was originally initiated by Boston College in 2001 for grades K-8.

The Dayton Daily News reported July 7 that Sinclair Community College plans to take CJ's lead and become the first in the nation to adapt the program for higher education. Read the article below.

Written by Meagan Pant, DDN staff writer, and first published July 7, 2013.
Sinclair Community College will invest $300,000 to pilot a program that will connect students with the resources they need to overcome barriers in their lives and graduate.

The college will also receive $100,000 from the Mathile Family Foundation in Dayton to adapt the “City Connects” program from a model that aids students in kindergarten through high school to one that helps adults pursuing higher education. The Boston College-based program has already had success at Dayton’s Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School and at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School.

Sinclair will begin with 130 students this fall. The college will first assess what the students’ needs are — which could be academic or personal — and then connect them with resources on campus or in the community, said Kathleen Cleary, associate provost for student success at Sinclair.

“It could make a huge difference,” she said.

The program has promise for community college students because 40 percent of those who drop out have an A or B average, Clearly said. So, “what we know in those cases is it’s not an academic reason that student is dropping out. It’s because life gets in the way,” she said.

Through City Connects, Sinclair could, for instance, help a homeless student find housing, and then follow up to ensure they got the resources they need, she said.

In the future, the program will be expanded to more Sinclair students and could be a model for colleges everywhere.

“We believe the City Connects program at Sinclair will transform lives by helping more students graduate, enter the workforce, and contribute to the economic success of our community,” said Greg Edwards, executive director of the Mathile Family Foundation.

Dayton will be unique because the program will be offered to students from kindergarten through college through three schools.

“There’s no other place in the country that’s connecting services to students like we are in Dayton,” said Chaminade-Julienne Principal John Marshall. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment. It’s going to be a national example of how to serve kids.”

Now entering its fourth year of running the program, Chaminade-Julienne has reduced the rate its students leave between ninth and 10th grade from about 7 percent before City Connects to about 1 percent now, Marshall said. He added that more students are applying to college and getting accepted to more rigorous schools.

Marshall said students needs are assessed every year and adjusted. He added the program is successful because of the “makes sense factor.”

“Instead of the tradition model of a guidance counselor doing everything, we connect the resources to the students and families to help them be successful,” Marshall said. “It could be anywhere from learning needs, to addressing a dietary problem, to connecting them with a local music lesson.”

“It makes sense to address the social and emotion needs of students,” he said.


Re-published at cjeagles.org with permission from Cox Media, Inc.