Program Facts

Program Facts

When was the ASU American Dream Academy founded?

The ASU American Dream Academy was founded in September 2006

How do you measure success?

Since its inception the ASU American Dream Academy has graduated approximately 32,480 parents from the 8-10 week program, and 4,816 students.

What are your current metrics?

FY 2016 we have (to date):

  • 3102 Parents Registered
  • 2481 Parents Graduated
  • 685 Students Registered
  • 482 Students Graduated
  • 5222 Children Served

How many schools do you serve?

Since 2006 we have been in 250 schools, a total of 660 times. In FY 2016, the ASU American Dream Academy served 74 schools mostly in Phoenix, but also in Tucson (30 Fall, 44 Spring).

Have recent federal policies had an impact on your program?

While parental engagement continues to be critical in schools, recent federal policies have been implemented that change how this is funded. During this time, ADA has done the program 645 times, 247 schools, in 52 districts that have adopted this program.

What other metrics do you look at?

In a research project conducted in June/July of 2015, the children of parents who participated in the ASU American Dream Academy Program, and who should have graduated from high school, reported 80% of those children actually enrolled in an institution of higher education.

What other effects on families does your program have?

According to our research, most parents who attend the program, report they strongly agree they are their children’s first, and most important teacher. They are also asked if they know how to get their children into college. Most parents say they do not. By the end of the program, parents are asked the same two questions. There is almost no difference regarding the importance of parents as teachers. However, by the end of the program, a statistically significant number of parents changed their response about helping their children go to college.

Where do you focus your program?

Our work starts with schools in the school districts that surround the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus. We are able to leverage great parental involvement by the more than 600 principals that we have worked with, to make sure parents continue to be involved and engaged with the school. Having said that, we have been in the entire valley, from Buckeye to Gilbert, and Chandler to Deer Valley.

What kinds of topics do you cover in the program?

Topics covered include:

  • You Make the Difference!
  • Being a Partner with Your School
  • Academic Standards and Performance Requirements
  • School Success Factors – Communication and Discipline
  • School Success Factors – Self-Esteem and Motivation
  • School Success Factors – Reading, Together Time and Planning
  • Your Academic Success Plan

What other programs do you teach?

We have six additional curricula, including Teachers Involving Parents, a professional development program that helps prepare teachers to become better partners with parents to improve child learning.

Why does education matter?

On average, high school graduates earn at least $10,000 more per year than dropouts and college graduates earn more than twice as much. High school graduates save the community by reductions in public health, public assistance, and criminal justice expenses. Communities benefit from education individuals who engage in civic activities as voters, volunteers, and good neighbors.

Why the American Dream Academy?

Seven of every ten students entering Arizona’s high schools graduate. Of those seven graduates, only four continue to college. Of those four in college, only two earn a degree.

Arizona students are:

  • Increasingly diverse
  • One-quarter of Arizona children age 0-5 live in poverty
  • One-third of children living in Arizona suburbs come from low-income families
  • Twenty-eight percent of Arizona students in public schools do not speak English as their first language
  • African American, Hispanic and Native American students test an average twenty to thirty percentage points below white and Asian students
  • Fewer than half of Arizona’s graduates are eligible for admission to the state’s universities based on their high school performance
  • Many of those admitted to college have to enroll in lower-level courses to make up for academic deficiencies
  • Few students take advantage of funded tutoring and transfer options

Why should parents attend the American Dream Academy classes?

Empowering parents can create transformative change. For students, education is the key that opens the door to the American Dream, a unifying method that demands each of our best efforts for the opportunity to reach our highest potential. While this ideal remains elusive for many citizens, colleges and universities can play a role in extending opportunity to underserved communities. By providing hope and necessary tools, we can help parents use their individual and collective strengths to provide their children with the focus, guidance, and support to achieve successful academic careers.

Is there a cost for these classes for parents?

No, financial support for the classes is provided by Arizona State University, individual schools and districts, and funding partners. All course materials are provided free to participants.

What do the classes teach parents?

ADA’s core curriculum, Realizing the American Dream, gives parents the tools, knowledge and confidence they need to help their children achieve academic success. They learn how to become effective partners with their school, other parents and the community to help make a better school for all children. They learn why reading is so important and what they can do to help their children develop excellent reading skills. They learn ways to prevent dropouts, how to build on their children’s learning styles, the important of monitoring homework, ways to build study skills and how to improve test-taking skills.

What are the ADA classes like?

Research evaluations of American Dream Academy curriculum show that parents completing the classes made impressive gains in their skills, knowledge, and behaviors about how to support their children’s education. In particular, they gained an enhanced understanding of what they can do at home to influence their children’s academic career, including the steps to complete high school and prepare for higher education.

Are ADA classes successful?

Research evaluations of American Dream Academy curriculum show that parents completing the classes made impressive gains in their skills and knowledge about how to support their children’s education. In particular, they gained an enhanced understanding of what they can do at home to influence their children’s academic, including the steps to complete high school and prepare for higher education.