P20 CONNECTS Program Partnerships

P20 CONNECTS Program Partnerships 2019 – 2020



The Community College of Baltimore County’s (CCBC) Pathways to College, Civic, and Career Readiness (P3CR) project engages CCBC students in service to improve literacy skills of Baltimore youth in under-served communities. P3CR reflects the institution’s commitment to educational equity and to addressing the adverse impact of poverty by providing learning resources and civic engagement opportunities to community college students and low-income youth through partnership with Baltimore County Public Schools. The P3CR P20 CONNECTS AmeriCorps VISTA project expands institutional capacity to enhance and scale up educational equity through program coordination, assessment, and evaluation. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member engages CCBC students in service opportunities with BCPS students to improve literacy skills of Baltimore youth in under-served communities, resulting in the enhancement of the pipeline for college, career and civic readiness. Project activities are also supporting retention, deepening learning and engagement, and closing opportunity gaps.

College of Southern Maryland (CSM) and St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) are partnering to target low-income youth in St. Mary’s County to encourage college enrollment. This P20 CONNECTS partnership will focus specifically on providing access to education for low income students. While SMCPS has College Access Programs (CAP) in all high schools, and while CSM has outreach to the high schools, there is little crossover between the two educational entities for college going/preparedness for low income students. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member works with CAP personnel to develop workshops on financial aid, college knowledge for families (particularly first generation) in the community, and paperwork processes. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member also works with CSM personnel to expand dual enrollment and CTE pathway opportunities, provide career and employment exploration, and make basic referrals to service agencies available to low-income college students (e.g., food, housing, and childcare assistance). The goal is to create a sustainable partnership that provides opportunities for these students and families to be college ready through community workshops and other programming.

Notre Dame of Maryland University’s (NDMU) York Road Education and Service (YES) program provides academic and other critical support in the forms of tutoring, college awareness activities, and health and wellness opportunities to low-income students from two high-needs Baltimore City schools (Govans Elementary School and Tunbridge Public Charter School). This P20 CONNECTS partnership is centered in building a deep connection between these schools, NDMU, and the York Road Community. YES is committed to increasing academic achievement and college preparedness, expanding community informed partnerships, and increasing the involvement of NDMU students, faculty, and staff with Baltimore City’s youth through on-site engagement in these schools. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member serves as a key member of the YES Program implementation team, charged with maintaining and expanding an existing academic tutoring and student teacher internship program, planning and initiating a mentoring program for partner school students, and exploring and researching health and wellness needs and opportunities for future implementation in partner schools, with special focus on student and family health concerns identified by project partners.

The CCMA P20 CONNECTS AmeriCorps VISTA project at Towson University (TU) addresses the needs of Baltimore City elementary and middle school students to achieve grade level learning in mathematics and language arts. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS program partnership at Towson University restructures TU’s America Counts program and the “TUTORS” (America Reads) program into an integrated and larger America Counts/America Reads program. This project focuses on providing college, career, and civic engagement opportunities to children from low-income families in Baltimore City. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member serving at Towson University plays an active role in capacity building for the project, which includes transitioning the existing programs, strengthening the relevant networks, and expanding partnerships to new schools. This project fosters a positive collaboration between partner sites and TU, fulfilling the need for student mentorships in Baltimore City, and creating job and volunteer opportunities for TU students.

Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) at University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Community Engagement Center (CEC) will prepare young people (ages 12-16) from low income, largely African American households in Southwest Baltimore in college, career, and civic readiness. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member researches, designs, implements, revises, and assesses a curriculum that emphasizes service-learning, community organizing, and racial equity. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member recruits and supports an initial cohort of preteens and teens who advise on program development, after which the teens will be trained in relevant subject areas. This cohort of teens will then move into leadership positions facilitating subsequent ELA cohorts. Partners may be recruited from a vast number of community partners, including but not limited to, UMB’s Human Resources, Positive School Center, STAR Track, Workforce Wednesdays and Writing Center, Baltimore 360, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, Community Mediation Center, Enoch Pratt Library, and the Greater Baltimore Urban League. These partnerships will help to develop the meaningful opportunities being provided to the students in Southwest Baltimore, and to create a sustainable P20 CONNECTS program.

Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) is a CCMA P20 CONNECTS partnership between the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and Montgomery College (MC) to address multi-generational poverty by increasing baccalaureate degree attainment among underrepresented students, especially African American and Hispanic youth. The ACES P20 CONNECTS partnership program is adding career readiness programming for all ACES students (an expansion of the current work with approximately 100 students to over 2,000 students at full capacity) beginning in high school and continuing through university graduation. This programming provides students with workforce skills and professional experiences that will help to ensure that they can attain and succeed in high demand careers. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member assists in developing programming that connects students at USG to industry opportunities, creates civic engagement opportunities, and ensures long-term sustainability of the ACES career readiness expansion.  The goal of this program is to help the student participants to stay in school and build directly-related workforce skills and experiences that reinforce their motivation to continue their education and ensure that they are competitive for jobs upon graduation.

The Let’s Make A Difference project is a CCMA P20 CONNECTS youth development program for 9th-12th graders in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), in partnership with the Community Engagement Institute at Wesley Theological Seminary Downtown, and the Raising A Village Foundation. The CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member works with engaged staff members and Community Engagement Fellows from Wesley Theological Seminary to build capacity and recruit volunteers to provide educational support for DCPS students in the areas of social-emotional learning, social impact, and college and career readiness. This includes developing a curriculum, creating training seminars and resources for volunteers, as well as implementing best practices for volunteer recruitment and management of college volunteers. As coordinator of the project, the CCMA P20 CONNECTS VISTA member will also work with program assistants from the Let’s Make A Difference Project – Student Worker program to develop implementation, assessment measures, and long-term student outcome measures. This P20 CONNECTS partnership is set to build a sustainable community network that creates lasting support for DCPS students.

P20 CONNECTS Pilot Partnerships 2018 – 2019

Frederick Community College (FCC), in partnership with Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), launched their P20 CONNECTS partnership with a Civic Engagement Summit that focused on systemic connections. The twenty FCC and FCPS administrators and educators in attendance supported three goals that connect college, career, and civic readiness through civic engagement and service learning across the P20 pipeline. These goals include: 1) Create a shared language of and about student civic engagement; 2) Communicate current practices and programs; and 3) Identify overlaps and opportunities for mutual enhancement.

Moving forward, key stakeholders will map P20 CONNECTS civic engagement and service-learning programming, identify programs with collaborative potential, and determine existing and needed resources. In the year to come, the initiative will focus on enhancing targeted FCC/FCPS partnership programs such as Future Link and Cyber Day, college and career readiness programming for middle school students, and Rising Entrepreneurs, an entreprenurial workshop program for high school students.

The After-School Connections program is a collaborative effort between Frostburg State University and Allegany County Public Schools to enhance the after-school program for 6th to 8th grade students that are economically disadvantaged and eligible for free and reduced meals. Operating at four middle schools throughout the county (Braddock, Mount Savage, Washington, and Westmar), the current after-school program focuses on academic enrichment in the areas of math, science, and language arts. However, with the support of the CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA Member, the After-School Connections program will also expand upon social skills and character development to strengthen children’s leadership, communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, coping, and other skills highly desired by future employers. The After-School Connections program will have college student volunteers serving as youth mentors as well as facilitators of experiential learning activities that further promote college, career, and civic readiness.

The P20 CONNECTS After-School Connections program has three main goals: 1) Collaborate on the development and implementation of learning modules focusing on college, career, and civic readiness; 2) Assist in identifying and pursuing additional funding and other resource opportunities to support enrichment activities, further development of P20 CONNECTS inititaives, and evaluations; 3) Strengthen P20 partnerships and projects in Allegany County.


Towson University and Baltimore County Public Schools have been mutual partners since 2002, when Mr. Hugh Kearney approached Dr. Alison McCartney about an affordable Model UN program. This partnership established the innovative TU-BCPS Model United Nations program, providing a deeper education of international relations and politics for high school students alongside valuable college/university experiences.

The program also established two civic engagement courses for Towson University students to learn about politics and international relations while also participating in service-learning and volunteering. The goals are to provide and facilitate a global learning experience, prepare students for college and their careers, increase equitable access, and increase the civic readiness and opportunities available to high school and college students. This initiative is currently assessing what the high school students have learned over the course of the entire program from the school coaching through the conference. TU and BCPS envision a more sustainable and scalable program that retains institutional memory in the high schools and focuses the mission and strategy.





The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) P20 CONNECTS Initiative has been an effective catalyst and tool to develop innovative programs and initiative to provide access to higher education for local youth, engaging UMES students in community service/outreach, and fostering relationships with local business in order to provide access and opportunity for residents in the surrounding community.

UMES students have participated in several projects that have had a direct physical impact on the surrounding community such as building wheel chair ramps for the economically challenged elderly and their families. Additionally, multiple food distributions and health lifestyle programs have been designed via a garden built by UMES students, the Community Foundation of the Easter Shore, the Rotary Club of Salisbury, the MANRRS Chapter at UMES, and the CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member have assisted in combating food insecurity and obesity, which have plagues youth and their families in the surrounding community.

One specific outreach initiative that UMES students also volunteer through the CCMA Vet Connect AmeriCorps VISTA project. The intent of this project is to connect military veterans and their families in the area to resources that combat poverty and improve their quality of life.


Thanks to the generous funding from the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), Maya Angelou School and he College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) have partnered on a project that will train the urban agriculture and urban sustainability workforce of the future.

AEDC and UDC share a common commitment to build the capacity for economic development and improve the quality of life in the District of Columbia by creating jobs, launching businesses, and improving food access and sustainability through a thriving local food economy, which is integral to the green economy of the future.

The Maya Way of Maya Angelou Schools and its See Forever Foundation is entirely consistent with the capacity building mission of AEDC and UDC. The Maya Way is a comprehensive approach to help students in lower income communities realize their limitless potential through education that focuses on academic achievement, social and emotional support, and career and college preparation. This partnership will simultaneously prepare students for the future in green economics and sustainable development.

Since 1992, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has worked to promote the implementation of high quality service-learning experiences for students by providing a variety of training opportunities, resources, and technical assistance to local education agencies (LEAs).

Over the past several years, the MSDE and Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic have partnered to enhance college, career, and civic readiness by featuring P20 CONNECTS at its regular meetings with LEA service-learning contacts, including a professional development session. At that meeting, Youth in Service to America (YSA) offered a $100 mini-grant to any interested LEA to assist with the facilitation of a meeting between the LEA and local higher education contracts.

A quarter of the school systems in the state requested the YSA funding and have held, or are planning, meetings. At these meetings, LEAs and higher education contacts are exploring and planning how best to work together to create meaningful service-learning experiences. These projects will unite higher education and K12 students on focused initiatives designed to improve their communities.