Since 2004, Austin Partners In Education (APIE) – an independent 501(c)(3) – has partnered with the Austin Independent School District (ISD) and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce to deliver best-practice, scalable, and results-driven learning models for math, mentoring, career exploration, and college readiness to economically disadvantaged students in Austin ISD’s under-resourced communities.
In line with our mission, “to improve student college and career readiness and expand STEM opportunities through community engagement,” APIE utilizes members of the local community to help close the achievement gap created by income inequality and address the need for an educated workforce, ultimately providing pathways to socio-economic well-being. APIE programs are designed to support the academic needs of Austin’s most at-risk students and can readily adapt to the district’s evolving instructional delivery models. Each year, APIE recruits, organizes, and trains approximately 1,000 volunteers to work regularly, during the school day, with over 2,000 of Austin ISD’s students, through the following programs:
• College Readiness provides academic support to Austin ISD middle and high school students, particularly those at-risk, minority, low-income, first-generation and traditionally underserved students, to meet Texas college readiness standards thereby qualifying them for admission to Early College High School (ECHS) or Career Launch Schools. ECHS and Career Launch Schools give students the opportunity to earn college credit while simultaneously earning their high school diploma.
• Math Classroom Coaching provides academic support for middle school students in math by training and deploying hundreds of community volunteers, typically in STEM related fields, who go into the classroom during the school day to work with students each week on critical mathematical concepts.
• In the Mentoring program, more than 500 volunteers meet one-on-one with students weekly on over 100 district campuses, serving as positive role models and providing support by building relationships. In 2017-2018, a career exploration/mentoring component was integrated into the program at select middle and high schools.
APIE also conducts background checks for all individuals and organizations volunteering in Austin ISD schools, supporting community involvement in the Austin school system. Together, APIE’s innovative programs occur at critical steps in a student’s path to graduating high school, ensuring college matriculation, and finding a rewarding, financially-stable career.