Advancing research to practice in service

National Center for Advancing Research to Practice at ServeMinnesota

The National Center for Advancing Research to Practice at ServeMinnesota drives data gathering and analysis that launches innovative new AmeriCorps initiatives and helps programs constantly improve. 

What is the National Center for Advancing Research to Practice?

The underling theory of change for the National Center for Advancing Research to Practice at ServeMinnesota (NCARP) is that partnerships between research and service programs such as AmeriCorps offer immense value for research and sustainable practice. We accomplish this mission through advancing the knowledge base on promising tools and practices that can be readily adopted by practitioners and directly translating those tools and practices into AmeriCorps service programs supported by the National Center.

 We conduct our work in close collaboration with researchers at academic institutions, community members and other key stakeholders. The National Center’s portfolio includes projects to evaluate the impact of AmeriCorps programming, projects to advance the existing knowledge base in education and development projects to bring new and innovative programming to communities across the nation.

AmeriCorps Impact: AmeriCorps programs across the nation have a profound impact on educational outcomes. 

Research to Practice: Research to directly inform practice. 

Innovative Program Development: Programming driven by community need. A development process driven by research, equity and rigor. 

Meet Our Team

David Parker, Ph.D.

Peter Nelson, Ph.D.

NCARPS Staff-Published Research Studies

The following publications validate the impact of ServeMinnesota programs, including Reading Corps and Math Corps:

Our Funding
Partners

Brady Education Foundation

The Brady Education Foundation seeks to close the achievement gap for children living in poverty by promoting collaboration between researchers and educators to assist children who are at risk of poor school outcomes.

In 2015, the Brady Education Foundation awarded ServeMinnesota a two-year grant to design and complete a randomized, controlled trial of Minnesota Math Corps. The results validate that combining the people power of AmeriCorps with effective math instruction puts students on the path to algebra proficiency. Math Corps students in grades 4-8 made gains in math skills that were significantly larger than students who did not participate. At the end of the study, Math Corps students were an average of 2-3 months ahead of their expected trajectory, narrowing or closing the gap between their beginning skill level and grade level goals. 

Brady

Laura and John Arnold Foundation

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation supports governments and nonprofit organizations in building the evidence base for social interventions and using reliable data to make decisions.

The Foundation has provided funding to continue rigorous evaluation of Math Corps. This study, conducted during the 2016-17 school year, will allow us to determine the impact of Math Corps on the probability of students’ attaining proficiency on the state test. Further, this year-long study will result in a more comprehensive understanding of the degree to which Math Corps contributes to closing the achievement gap. 

U.S. Dept. of Education Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grant

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, invests in evidence-based programs and evaluations to find what works to solve problems in economic opportunity, health, and youth development.

SIF supported the pilot of a vocabulary intervention, MAVRIC. Evidence shows that students from lower-income families arrive at Kindergarten with a significant vocabulary gap. MAVRIC was designed to help close the gap through targeted intervention in K-1st grade. 

Department of Education

Social Innovation Fund

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, invests in evidence-based programs and evaluations to find what works to solve problems in economic opportunity, health, and youth development.

SIF supported the pilot of a vocabulary intervention, MAVRIC. Evidence shows that students from lower-income families arrive at Kindergarten with a significant vocabulary gap. MAVRIC was designed to help close the gap through targeted intervention in K-1st grade. 

Corporation for National and Community Service Planning Grant

ServeMinnesota was given an exciting opportunity to build out a component of Math Corps to expose students to STEM careers thanks to a planning grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Through this grant, we will partner with local businesses in STEM fields of study to adopt a more comprehensive approach to generating student interest during the 2017-18 school year. Specifically, professionals from the field will share their experiences (current and past) with youth in the Math Corps program to expose students to STEM careers and create excitement about how math is used to solve real world problems.

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W. K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation provides support for programs promoting the health, happiness, and well-being of children, particularly vulnerable populations, so that they can reach their full potential.

In 2014, the foundation provided funding for a pilot to bring the proven Reading Corps program into Licensed Family Child Care centers. The program engages tutors, providers, and families in supporting the learning needs of each child. Tutors model interventions for providers, who also receive professional development to improve their caregiving. Families receive literacy activities and guidance to advocate for their children within the school system. Results from the first few years of implementation are impressive: 97% of children have shown growth in three of five literacy measures, indicating readiness for Kindergarten! Learn more about Licensed Family Child Care Reading Corps.

 

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