City Year and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University Partnership

Compass Academy is supported by City Year - AmeriCorps and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. These two national non-profit education organizations hold a combined experience of 50 years in helping students succeed and currently partner with 314 public schools across the country.



City Year helps students and schools succeed. Fueled by national service, City Year partners with more than 300 public schools in 29 urban, high-need communities across the U.S. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide research-based student, classroom and school-wide supports to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A 2015 study shows that schools that partner with City Year were up to two-to-three times more likely to improve on math and English assessments. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. City Year launched in Denver in 2011 and serves approximately 4,000 students in Denver Public Schools each year. 



Through a systematic and comprehensive approach, the Everyone Graduates Center combines analysis of the causes, location, and consequences of the nation’s dropout crisis with the development of tools and models designed to keep all students on the path to high school graduation, and capacity building efforts to enable states, communities, school districts, and schools to provide all their students with the supports they need to succeed. The Everyone Graduate Center seeks to identify the barriers that stand in the way of all students graduating from high school prepared for adult success, to develop strategic solutions to overcome the barriers, and to build local capacity to implement and sustain them.


Together, these two organizations bring more than 50 years of experience in the education space. In 2008, three national organizations – Talent Development Secondary at Johns Hopkins University, City Year, and Communities In Schools – created the Diplomas Now partnership, an innovative, multi-year approach to whole-school improvement for our nation’s most challenged middle and high schools. Diplomas Now uses an early warning system to identify students who are off track in attendance, behavior, and course performance in English and math. Teams of full-time AmeriCorps members and professional staff provide students with individualized academic and social-emotional support and case management to get them on track to high school graduation and college, career, and life success.

The model is based on research that found students who exhibit one or more “early warning indicators” (EWI’s) of low attendance, poor behavior or course failure in English or math are exponentially more at risk for dropping out of high school. Research shows that preventing one or more of these warning signs makes it three times more likely that a student will graduate, dramatically improving his or her lifetime trajectory. 

Recent impact results from a randomized control trial independently conducted by MDRC demonstrate that Diplomas Now increases the percentage of sixth- and ninth-graders with no early-warning signs in attendance, behavior, and course performance. This finding is important because prior research shows that sixth- and ninth-graders without Early Warning Indicators (EWI) graduate at rates two to three times higher than students with such issues. Now, with the release of a new report on one of the largest randomized control trials of U.S. secondary schools, we have strong evidence that:

  • The number of students who end the key sixth and ninth grade transition years with early warning indicators can be reduced.

  • It is possible to reduce chronic absenteeism in our nation’s highest-need middle schools.

  • Emerging evidence reveals that more students report having positive relationships with non-teaching adults through the Diplomas Now partnership, which deploys teams of full-time AmeriCorps members and case managers.

  • We also see emerging evidence of Diplomas Now ensuring students who enter the sixth and ninth grade on track stay on track.

Become a Partner

If you would like to partner with us, fill out the form below and one of our staff members will get back to you.

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