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Needs Assessment

Merica Green

Assessment of Learning/CUR528

June 12, 2017

Siddeeqah Johnson

Needs Assessment

Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) has proudly reported the decline of drop outs year

after year. It has been observed that students who drop out most often do so in the 10th grade and

then the 9th grade (Public Schools of North Carolina). Although there has been a decline in the

number of students who drop out, the fact that there is any percentage of students dropping out of

school offers a difficult blow to society and presents a major deficiency in the community. Often

a lack of education leads to lower paying jobs or even long stents of unemployment. These

economic challenges yield societal problems. This needs assessment introduces a program that

will be tailored to redirecting students who have dropped out of school so that they are able to

have meaningful lives and become productive and contributing members in society (the needs

assessment cycle is in Appendix A of this document).

Identify a Course

Chartering the Course (of Your Life) is a program that will be used to help focus and

redirect students who dropped out of high school for whatever reason. This course will, in many

ways, mimic a vision board on a larger scale. Students will be asked to focus on a map, compass,

GPS, and other directional mechanisms. They will first be encouraged to find where they

currently are and then be asked to map out where they are going (a pre-determined geographical

location will be provided). Students will further be encouraged to imagine roadblocks and

detours that they may encounter that are not on the map or directional mechanism they are

working with. This will lead into the discussion of their actual life. Students will be encouraged

to parallel this exercise with where they are in life compared to where they want to go. Students

will receive testimonials from life coaches, teachers, and other staff members that should be used

to provide a framework for how individual choices can adversely or favorably affect their lives.

The purpose of this course/program will be to find the passion that these students never

had or, perhaps they had it but lost it along the way when encountering detours and roadblocks.

The course will fuel or refuel the passion of the students participating and help to identify their

purpose and intended role in society. Life Coaches will be available to attach these students

purpose to their potential. The end goal of the program is that students will take the Generational

Educational Development exam (GED) with successful completion and then enter college, the

military, or the workforce with a better chance of success than they had prior to enrolling in this


The Purpose

The drop out rate for CMS students at the end of 2014 was 2.31% of all high school

students. It is imperative to provide a place for students who drop out to go for continued

development. But, to catch these students before they make the decision to drop out of high

school would be the initial goal of the Chartering the Course program. Targeting the Charlotte

community, this program will have the potential for turning the tables on crime statistics and

raising the bar for successful employment.

The programs stakeholders include: high school drop outs and those contemplating

dropping out, local life coaches, NC State Board of Education, parents, teachers, and all who are

interested in seeing the success of the youth of Charlotte. Students may question how this

program can be of any benefit to them. They may feel that high school did not help them any so

why should they try the program. Students who have dropped out or are considering dropping

out of high school are encouraged to take advantage of this program because it will help to

redirect and refocus their lives. Life Coaches will help to pinpoint how things got off track and

assess what needs to happen to get things moving in the right direction again. The NC Board of

Education is needed to identify at risk students and make referrals for them to attend the

program. For this, they will need the help of teachers, parents, and all individuals who have a

vested interest in the youth of the community.

Needed Information

Once students are identified to participate in this program, the first question they will be

asked to answer is: Why? The NC Board of Education can also help to answer the why of

student drop outs. The Board defines an at risk student as: a young person who because of a

wide range of individual, personal, financial, familial, social, behavioral or academic

circumstances may experience school failure or other unwanted outcomes unless interventions

occur to reduce the risk factors (North Carolina State Board of Education). The Charter the

Course program is one such intervention that is designed to help reduce, eliminate, or address

and tackle those risk factors.

The determination for each student should also be made as to if dropping out is

generational. Is this a cultural thing? Are children expected to contribute to the household at a

certain age so dropping out of school is the only option? Are they making this decision or are

they being forced into this decision? Is this decision the result of a lifestyle of crime? All of this

should be determined prior to the start of the program so that each student is appropriately

attended to. Depending on the cause for dropping out how the student will be handled could be

different. The biggest question to be determined is can the student be redirected after dropping

out? The answer to this question pin points how beneficial the program will be for each

individual student. Each of these questions should be asked prior to the student starting the

program because their responses will dictate if they should be trained one-on-one or in a group.

Whichever is determined to be best for the student will be the primary style under which they are

trained. However, all students will engage, at some level, in one-on-one as well as group


Existing Data

Because there are alternative learning programs available, some data does exist in the line

of high school drop outs for CMS schools. The Charter the Course program will have to follow

the legislation established for alternative learning programs in North Carolina by the North

Carolina State Board of Educations (the Policies and Procedures for Alternative Learning

Programs and Schools Grades K-12 is in Appendix B of this document). The chart below shows

an illustration of the proportion of educational attainment for Charlotte residents age 25 and

above (as of 2016).


The following chart shows the data for Charlotte residents age 18 and older. This data reveals the

educational attainment by age group. (as of 2016).


Federal grants will be solicited for budgetary needs. The program will, initially, rent space in a

community recreational center until it is able to erect its own facility. Additionally, a hot meal

will be provided to all participants of the program. As the program grows (numerically) the need

for funding will also grow. The aim of the program is to continue to solicit the government for

grants so that participants do not have to pay any out of pocket costs.


CMS Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. (2015). Dropout Rate Continues to Decline in CMS.

Retrieved from

Policies and Procedures for Alternative Learning Programs and Schools Grades K-12. (2003).

Retrieved from

Public Schools of North Carolina. (2017). News Releases 2016-17. Public School Dropout Rate

Improves in 2015-16. Retrieved from


TownCharts. (2017). Charlotte, North Carolina Education Data. Retrieved from


Appendix A:

Appendix B: