A Lasting Commitment: Targeted Educational Support for Underserved Children
We recently partnered with Access Academies (“Access”), a St. Louis-based non-profit dedicated to propelling middle school students who have been historically underserved through high school and on to college and career success with enrichment, counseling and scholarships. Access tasked our team with one overarching goal: to develop a thorough evaluation of potential schools to partner with in the St. Louis middle school market. To accomplish this analysis, the team broke down the work into three parts:
- Analyze available quantitative data — economic, demographic and academic — on the students in the broader St. Louis area, and develop a dynamic evaluation model from the data to identify schools that would best align with Access programs as the organization grows.
- Conduct a qualitative assessment, consisting of interviews with current Access staff members (across all levels of the organization), in order to synthesize a formal set of criteria incorporating key factors for consideration when selecting a school for partnership.
- Build a comprehensive, sensitized set of financial projections to reflect the impact of a new partnership — from initial entry through Year 11 of support, which represents a fully ramped partnership (middle school through college).
Quantitative Data Shows Stark Inequalities and High Potential for Access Impact
We began our quantitative analysis by gathering and organizing raw data sources for each of the 23 local school districts in the St. Louis city/county area. We then identified 24 key metrics from the data sets, categorizing each metric into one of three high-level categories — Economic Factors, Academic Factors and Student Profiles (each of which was prioritized during interviews with Access). Next, we created a scoring system for each of the quantitative metrics (based on each metric’s “fit” with Access’ mission and values).