Preparing Black and Latino Young Men for College and Careers

A Description of the Schools and Strategies in NYC's Expanded Success Initiative (2013)

Sarah Klevan, Adriana Villavicencio, and Suzanne Wulach

In August of 2011, NYC launched the Young Men’s Initiative—an ambitious set of programs across several City agencies aimed at improving outcomes for Black and Latino males. The bulk of YMI’s education effort is the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI), which provides funding and support to 40 high schools to help them improve college and career readiness among their Black and Latino male students.

While high school outcomes in NYC have steadily increased for all racial and ethnic groups, frustrating gaps between groups of students remain, particularly in the area of college readiness. Among young men of color who entered 9th grade in 2006, only about one in ten graduated ready for college-level work.* ESI is designed not only to raise college readiness at the participating schools, but to illuminate successful approaches that ultimately might be expanded throughout the City.

The Research Alliance is conducting a mixed-method, longitudinal evaluation of ESI’s implementation as well as its impact on a range of academic and non-academic outcomes. Our evaluation will continue until December 2016.

Preparing Black and Latino Young Men for College and Careers describes the key components of ESI, the 40 schools that were selected to receive funding, the supports that were available in these schools prior to ESI, and the strategies that they planned to implement in the initiative’s first year. The report examines the extent to which the schools’ plans align with ESI’s design and goals, and begins to look at factors that might influence the potential to apply ESI more broadly (e.g., how similar or different ESI schools are from other schools in the district).

*Based on the NYS Aspirational Performance Measure, which requires graduating with an Advanced Regents diploma within five years of starting high school; scoring at least a 75 on the English Regents exam; and scoring at least an 80 on a math Regents exam.