Ending the dropout crisis will require sustained and coordinated community efforts driven by an understanding of the reasons students drop out and the proven solutions that exist. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, has demonstrated that by combining personal communication with high-quality media products, public media have a critical, unique and valuable role in meeting this national priority. The first phase of American Graduate achieved success by raising awareness of the high school dropout challenge, highlighting research-based solutions, and fostering community collaborations and community action to boost graduation rates. Some stations and markets have laid the groundwork for how public media can be an engine of positive change and productive partnerships in communities across the public media system. The evidence from the first 18 months of American Graduate shows the value of public media’s role in helping communities understand and address pressing national challenges. The initial successes set the stage for sustainable on-going work and show that American Graduate has the potential for long-term impact through its public media stations, in partnership with each community they serve. Public media has a vital role to play in helping the nation achieve its high school graduation rate goal.
Our new report finds that the American Graduate initiative has succeeded in building community capacity to meet the national priority of ending America’s high school dropout crisis. Public media has achieved this success by raising awareness and building knowledge of the issue, highlighting proven solutions, ensuring a sustained multi-sector response and fostering collective community action toward common goals – key strategies identified in the Civic Marshall Plan for a Grad Nation as essential for progress.
Learn more about the American Graduate initiative at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.