Project Graduation Really Achieves Dreams (GRAD)

A Good Idea


Project GRAD works to provide a quality public school education to at-risk children in low-income communities with the goal of increasing high school and college graduation rates.

In order to achieve this goal, Project GRAD works with students beginning in kindergarten and throughout college by focusing on five programs that are implemented within and outside of the classroom. Two of the components, mathematics and literacy, are specifically designed to skills that will help students succeed throughout their educational careers. The third component, classroom management, focuses on teaching and classroom management skills of the teachers that work in Project GRAD schools. These skills have been identified as strongly correlated with effective teaching and to increase student learning.

The fourth component focuses on social services and parental involvement. Here, professionals at each Project GRAD school provide counseling, dropout prevention, community outreach, and family case-management. Finally, the high school component works with students to ensure that they graduate and have access to a college or university.

Goal / Mission

The mission of Project GRAD is to provide quality public school education for at-risk children in low-income communities and to increase high school and college graduation rates among these populations.

Results / Accomplishments

Project GRAD has been implemented in many different locations and results are reported individually for each location. Houston, TX has the longest running program and showcase Project GRAD's accomplishments well. Houston high schools participating in Project GRAD showed 26% gains in graduation rates compared to only 3% in comparable non-Project GRAD schools. In addition, one Houston school participating in Project GRAD had a college graduation rate 92% above the national average for low-income students.

Currently, Project GRAD serves over 121,000 students in over 200 of the nation's most disadvantaged schools.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Robert Rivera
4265 San Felipe, Suite 900
Houston, TX 77027
Education / Childcare & Early Childhood Education
Education / Higher Education
Education / Student Performance K-12
Project GRAD and various public schools
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Additional Audience
low-income students