The 100% Graduation Rate Program  

New Jersey schools are losing 40 to 50% of its high school minority male population. This is estimated to cost our state taxpayers over $100 million dollars a year in lost federal funds for public education. Even, more disturbing are the lost lifetime earnings for these state dropouts that are estimated to be as high as $4.0 billion. No greater economic threat is facing our state and our country in the 21st century.

The 100% Graduation Rate Program has had a solution to this problem since 1996, by successfully graduating and preparing this population for college- and work-readiness. This includes graduating 89% of our participants from high school, successfully enrolling 61% in colleges and entering 72 percent into the adult workforce in the State of New Jersey’s economy.

Our mission to encourage high school minority males to stay in school and reach their full potential, and reduce the likelihood that young men will become involved in the criminal justice system as well as becoming a teen parent, has proven to be a major success through our 4-year intense program relevant life-skill learning intervention model.  With a 75% program completion rate, reduce male involvement in the juvenile justice system (78%), and reduction in teen fatherhood (94%). These results took place in one of the state and the country’s poorest and most violent inner-cities – Camden, New Jersey from 1996 to 2006.

The program overall success is the New Jersey Minority Educational Development organization’s ability to form partnerships with the local school district, local colleges, social service agencies and the business community. That helps implement and sustain the program’s 12 month nine academic and social skill training model, which include an after-school academic support program, counseling, college entrance assistance, standardize testing support, job readiness, job placement, career awareness, family planning and financial planning. Additionally, nine prevention workshops are presented annually, which include: drop-out prevention, school violence prevention, gang prevention, teen pregnancy and safe-sex awareness, teen suicide, alcohol and drug prevention, and family counseling.

The average cost per student in this 4-year program is less than $1,500. The program is especially  designed to support in-coming high at-risk 9th grade minority male high school students who had scored lower in their 8th grade state proficient test in reading and math, and who also had a grade point average of “C” or below in math and English. Each participating student is required to complete the 4 year program curriculum, before their high school completion, as well as, successfully obtaining a driving license, and a college or certified adult job training program enrollment.

Each school district is different and may require a more personalize structure to fit its needs, however, our evidence base program model has the capacity to be duplicated in other inner cities and rural communities, as well as, redirecting high at-risk minority male’s social development in our state’s public educational system towards producing substantial positive effects in closing the academic achievement and attainment gaps as they enter the workforce.