In and Beyond Schools, a report from JFF and the California Advancement Project, begins by summarizing recent research on the skills, mindsets, and traits that powerfully predict academic and workplace success. It also introduces promising approaches to building the psychological resources of underserved adolescents, supported by examples of schools and alternative learning programs that address aspects of psychosocial development as a core part of their academic approach.
The report then argues that schools can do more to prepare students for adulthood by creating school environments that are more positive and student-centered and by partnering more deliberately with community organizations and agencies with expertise in youth development. It lays out the core conditions that should be in place for all youth and offer promising examples of community partnerships that support the development of youth across traditional academic and psychosocial domains. And it describes the systemic conditions that must be in place to make community partnerships that support our youth widespread and sustainable.
This paper was funded by a grant from the California Endowment.