San José State University’s Center for Collaborative Research Excellence in Education researchers Lorri Capizzi, Brent Duckor, and Lauren Reagan has recently been featured in EdSource, a leading education news source in California, to discuss their research on the importance of mentoring for foster and homeless students in California’s community schools initiative.
The research highlights that the state’s $4 billion community schools program, which is just starting, will mesh academic improvement with community-based services focused on students’ health and development in hundreds, and eventually thousands, of low-income schools. It’s intended to support the state’s most vulnerable students, including an estimated 32,400 youths in foster care and 183,000 students experiencing homelessness, as of 2020-21. Authors Brent Duckor, Lorri Capizzi, and Lauren Reagan acknowledge that research on designing, implementing, and evaluating effective mentoring programs for these youths is “scant but emerging.” But what is certain is that the social isolation of homelessness and challenges of living in foster care create challenges in succeeding in school and transitioning to college. The authors recommend that community schools identify volunteers from the community and educational staff as potential mentors, then train them to understand foster and homeless students’ unique needs. They recommend that Universities could create certificate programs in mentoring for aspiring and existing teachers in evidence-based strategies, schools could set up peer mentorships matching college students who have experienced foster care and homelessness, and they could also partner with organizations like Big Brothers and Big Sisters with a proven record of effectiveness.
Lorri Capizzi is an accomplished Assistant Professor of Counselor Education with over 10 years experience supervising school counselors and over 15 years of experience in federal grant administration. She has a proven track record of working with underserved youth, has partnerships with several organizations, and her focus on practice-based training and applied research makes her a valuable asset to the field of counseling.
Brent Duckor is a Professor in the Department of Teacher Education with expertise in educational measurement, testing, and assessment. He has served on state and national boards, providing educational assessment and measurement expertise to organizations such as the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the California Department of Education, and the College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium in Washington, D.C.
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Read the feature on EdSource here.