Project GRAD USA

At a Glance

National Office: 
4265 San Felipe Ste 900
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: 713.986.0499

Dr. Daryl Ogden
People Served: 
124,000
Year Founded: 
2001
Tax ID: 
760666426

Focus area(s):

K-12 Reform
College Access

See These Reports For More Information

Description

Project GRAD USA (GRAD) is an education reform 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works in collaboration with local school districts to ensure academic achievement from Pre K-12, successful completion of high school in four years, and college access for students in economically disadvantaged communities.

Impact and Outcomes

In the longest-served group of schools, GRAD’s students are completing college at a rate 92% above the national average for students from similar backgrounds.
GRAD scholars are also outpacing their peers in pursuit of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees, earning STEM degrees at a rate 71% above the national average for minority students.
The longest-served high school in the GRAD network, in Houston, Texas, has the lowest drop-out rate in Houston Independent School District, outperforming schools located in higher socio-economic areas.

Mission & Goals

GRAD’s mission is to transform expectations of low-income students by building high-impact partnerships with public school systems across the country to implement a premiere college readiness and success model. GRAD is an education reform nonprofit that works in collaboration with local school districts to ensure academic achievement from Pre K-16, successful completion of high school in four years, and college access for students in economically disadvantaged communities. GRAD accomplishes this mission through its Pre-K-16 National Model. 

Program

GRAD’s model ensures student success by creating a college-going culture. The critical elements are:

The College Readiness Program: Provides students with a personalized roadmap to college from grade 8 through year one of college.  Differentiated instruction ensures that students succeed in a college preparatory curriculum linked to career goals.  College access information and, in many cases, scholarships are provided. Students are enabled to graduate on time and successfully enter college.

The Pre-K-8 Academic Support Model: Improves student achievement through curriculum alignment, professional learning, data-driven instruction, and classroom coaching.  

GRAD’s Pre-K-12 School Climate Initiative: Creating Safe and Effective Schools, is a transformation process which utilizes Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) as a basis for enabling schools to develop their own plan for a safe, student –centered school climate.

The Pre-K-12 Parent and Community Engagement Model: Develops a locally-rooted, focused constituency of parents and community leaders to advocate on behalf of low-income students to achieve lasting school reform.

The Pre-K-12 Social Services Initiative: Campus Family Support, brings together the resources necessary to address problems outside of the classroom which impede student success, such as family issues, physical and mental health problems, economic issues, and lack of guidance and life skills training. 

Impact

GRAD currently serves over 124,000 students in 205 schools across the country. Grad has sent high school graduates to more than 100 institutions of higher education, including some of the most highly selective schools in the nation such as Amherst, Cornell, Emory, Georgetown, Harvard,  Middlebury, MIT, Princeton, Rice, Texas, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Virginal, and Yale.

External evaluations of GRAD in a variety of communities and states have demonstrated that the model is responsible for statistically significant improvements in mathematics, literacy, core-academic course completion, attendance rates, promotion, and graduation rates, as well as reductions in student mobility, disciplinary infractions.  Evaluations from 2000 forward have demonstrated the following:

  • GRAD students in Tennessee and Ohio had significantly higher gains on state mathematics and literacy exams and graduation rates, fewer disciplinary actions, and lower mobility rates than comparable students in those states.
  • In Houston, TX, and Newark, N.J, GRAD students significantly outperformed non-GRAD students on Stanford-9 (Stanford Achievement Test Series) in both mathematics and literacy.
  • In Houston GRAD yielded significant results on state literacy and mathematics exams.
  • Across several sites, GRAD students were shown to be significantly more likely to complete a core academic curriculum than comparable students.
  • The presence of GRAD in Ohio schools was linked to higher attendance rates for both students and teachers.
  • Also in Newark, GRAD was responsible for an increase promotion rates to grade 6.
  • In Houston, GRAD has demonstrated a positive long-term impact on high school graduation.

 

Based on a school district’s assessment, the entire GRAD model or individual components may be adopted and implemented.

Growth Plan

Over the next 5 years, with GRAD’s authorization under HEA (Higher Education Act) and funding from foundations and other private sources, GRAD will activate three business models—site growth, city growth, and state growth-- to increase the number of high-need students served from the current number of 124,000 to 200,000. After a ten-year history, the GRAD remains sustainable through its mix of funding sources.

Growth Plan

GRAD will use the site growth strategy to expand its footprint into new geographies, including sites in Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, and New Jersey in order to build a robust infrastructure and expand into these sites. Thus, GRAD proposes to grow its work to fully incorporate all components of the GRAD model at these new sites.

GRAD proposes the city growth strategy in Los Angeles and Milwaukee. GRAD proposes to build off its successful and robust work in the San Fernando feeder in Los Angeles by adding an additional one middle school and three high schools. In these schools and GRAD’s existing schools, GRAD will focus on enhancing its college access work, specifically in the areas of college persistence. in Milwaukee GRAD is working on instructional support activities at three high schools. GRAD is engaged with district and school leadership, providing support, professional development, modeling, observations, and coaching with descriptive feedback for teachers and teacher leaders in the areas of literacy, mathematics, and climate. The city growth strategy would allow GRAD to expand its work into the full feeder pattern of these three high schools, giving it greater impact and effectiveness.

Economics of these two models:  The site expansion model in a site costs approximately $500,000 annually  and the city growth model costs approximately $2.5 M annually, with the financial contributions divided as follows: 

  • 1/3 from the District,
  • 1/3 from the Local 501 (c) 3 GRAD organization, and
  • 1/3 from GRAD USA, with the USA portion declining over a 5-year period to reach local sustainability.

The third model is that of state growth modeled on GRAD’s work in Pennsylvania, where GRAD partners with the State Department of Education to provide targeted, intensive intervention services. GRAD is working to implement this model in Massachusetts as an identified Priority Partner for Turnaround under the state’s Race To The Top funding.

Economics of this model:  In a state-wide initiative, major funding comes from the state entity for implementation of programs.  Additional funding, in the range of $1M annually, comes from other grant-making organizations to pay for infrastructure development to support programs.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
4265 San Felipe Ste 900
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: 713.986.0499
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

Alaska

California

Georgia

New Jersey

New York

Ohio

Tennessee

Texas

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2011

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$452,740
Foundation Grants: 
$50,000
Government Funding: 
$4,815,386
Contributions from Individuals: 
$10,475
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$61,000
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$5,389,601

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,589,210
Occupancy: 
$240,000
Travel & Entertainment: 
$236,600
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$35,000
Telephone & Communications: 
$36,000
Payments to Affiliates: 
$36,700
Other Expenses: 
$262,800
Other Expenses (Description): 

Bank Fees, Dues & Subscriptions, Internet Charges, Leased Eqpt, Local Transportation Mileage, Meeting, Misc Taxes & Fees, Repairs & Maintenance Special Events, Other Misc Expense. 

Total Expenses: 
$5,436,310

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$-46,709

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2010

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$378,018
Foundation Grants: 
$560,000
Government Funding: 
$4,103,819
Contributions from Individuals: 
$49,790
Program Services Fees: 
$1,358
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$584
Other Revenue: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$5,093,569

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$3,703,273
Occupancy: 
$160,627
Travel & Entertainment: 
$256,621
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$39,111
Telephone & Communication: 
$9,294
Payments to Affiliates: 
$280,738
Other Expenses: 
$227,005
Other Expenses (Description): 

Bank Fees, Dues & subscriptions, Internet charges, Leased Eqpt, Local Transportation Mileage, Meetings,Misc Taxes & Fees, Repairs & Maintenance, Special Events, Other Misc Expense.

Total Expenses: 
$4,676,669

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$416,900

Major Funders

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Capital One Foundation
 
Cockrell Foundation
 
Cornerstone Foundation
 
Court TV/ Time Warner
 
Eisner Foundation
 
Ford Foundation
 
G. E. Foundation
 
Johnson Family Fund
 
KnowledgeWorks Foundation
 
Lumina Foundation for Education
 
McKaco Foundation
 
Milwaukee Public Schools
 
Monteleone Foundation
 
National Oil Varco
 
Pennsylvania Department of Education
 
Texas Education Agency
 
U. S. Department of Education
 
Verizon Foundation