Some students dismiss the idea of attending college as early as middle school because they don't think it's possible or worth it. This is called foreclosure, and it's what Project Teach aims to address.
Since 2001, Project Teach has reached more than 6,800 students in Cambridge and Boston public schools.
Collaborating with educators
Every year, Project Teach works with 11 public schools across Boston and Cambridge.
After the Project Teach experience, students reported an increased confidence in their ability to ask questions about college.
In 2012, Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) faculty member Mandy Savitz-Romer and writer Suzanne Bouffard co-authored Ready, Willing, and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Access and Success, a study that sought to understand how and when adolescents start thinking about college. Their research suggested that several key components are critical in promoting a college-going culture among students.
The Project Teach model employs these factors in its developmental framework:
- Communication about college goals and terminology;
- Sharing of college information and resources;
- A sense of partnership with college students, faculty, and the college itself;
- Ongoing involvement of family.
We regularly conduct studies to determine the efficacy of the Project Teach program and find out which initiatives students enjoy most. We use this feedback to improve the program by adding new classes, developing lesson plans for teachers, and researching ways to better connect students with their support networks.