For more than 20 years, CIS Wake has worked in partnership with the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) to help students in need. We are one of 37 local affiliates across the state of North Carolina and a part of a national network of 181 local affiliates serving more than 1.3 million students in 25 states.
As the area’s largest dropout prevention agency, CIS Wake serves more than 500 students at five after-school community-based learning centers and within six Wake County public school sites. Our academic coaches work within elementary, middle, and high school locations to assist administrators, teachers and educators in building a sustainable support network that leads to successful matriculation at each stage of a student’s academic career. The ultimate goal for each student is high school graduation and a path toward post-secondary education or entry into a professional career.
The impact of our model is being felt nationwide.
In February of this year, the Communities In Schools national office released the results of a five-year comprehensive longitudinal evaluation of dropout prevention programs conducted by ICF International, one of the nation’s foremost social science evaluation firms. In comparing our results to over 1,600 studies screened by the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse, ICF concluded that the CIS model’s positive impact on both dropout rates AND graduation rates is unique among dropout prevention programs, as well as effective across all geographies, settings (urban, suburban, rural), grade levels and ethnicities.
Here, in Wake County we are implementing the national model to expand our service offerings. By the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, CIS Wake will impact more than 1,600 students. Expansion will occur through program extension within existing school sites, the opening of a sixth community-based learning center, and the addition of three or more new school locations.