LYNN ― North Shore Community College (NSCC) introduced its most recent program on Friday afternoon entitled Rise. Achieve. Persist. (RAP), which was created to provide Black, Latino, and English-as-a-second-language students with the tools they need to succeed by focusing on closing the achievement gap.
Michele Cubelli Harris, coordinator for the RAP program, explained how the event was the big kickoff for this program. NSCC received money from the state to put towards resources and programs to support education and resources in bridging the achievement gap.
“We want to spread the word that North Shore stands and is dedicated to people of color and we are working hard to bridge that achievement gap,” said Cubelli Harris.
According to Education Week, “The ‘achievement gap’ in education refers to the disparity in academic performance between groups of students… (it) shows up in grades, standardized test scores, course selection, dropout rates, and college completion rates, among other success measures. It is most often used to describe the troubling performance gaps between African-American and Hispanic students, at the lower end of the performance scale, and their non-Hispanic white peers.” Education Week is a resource for K-12 education news and information.
During the event, there was food, salsa-dancing lessons, and a guest speaker in youth specialist Darius Peyton, who talked to students about bridging the achievement gap.
Peyton explained how this program is the start to bridging the gap by giving a stepping stone to students who need it, adding that other schools can learn from NSCC
“This is something I haven’t seen from other programs,” said Peyton.
Peyton also touched upon how, in this particular time, it’s important to educate. He also expounded upon institutional racism, the difference between equity and equality, white flight, racial achievement, and the effects that the achievement gap has on young learners.
RAP offers students their very own peer-success coach, who will be the students’ liaison at NSCC. The program also offers membership in the MALES and SISTERS societies, both peer groups of on-campus learners that work to develop alliances to support one another at school.
Through a partnership with the YMCA, there are complimentary family memberships at the Demakes Family YMCA which include drop-in child care, a playroom, and a quiet space for parents to connect to their remote classes and complete school work.
RAP offers opportunities to explore careers and educational programs that students can pursue at NSCC, and even boasts a new student lounge designed to provide a safe, welcoming environment for students to relax and make learning more enjoyable.
There are specialized tutoring support and study groups as well as a dedicated expert who will assist with the financial-aid process and provide access to additional grants, scholarships, and sources of support.
Hannah Chadwick|Lynn Item|October 16, 2021
Hannah Chadwick can be reached at email@example.com.