Project COFFEE (Co-Operative Federation for Educational Experiences)

An Effective Practice


Project COFFEE (Co-Operative Federation for Educational Experience) was created in 1979 with the purpose of meeting the academic, occupational, social, emotional, and employability needs of high school students considered significantly at-risk of dropping out or becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. It is an alternative occupational education program that integrates academic and vocational instruction to increase the likelihood that participants will complete high school (diploma not GED) and obtain employment. Most students are between ages 16 and 19. Students are admitted to the program after record reviews and interviews. The program has room for up to 70 students and usually admits around 20 new students each year. The program also has a small middle-school component called Project JOBS (Joining Occupational and Basic Skills) that tries to "catch" students with behavioral or emotional problems to re-engage them in school; Project JOBS serves 20 students each year.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the program is to prevent school dropout by providing services addressing students' academic, social, emotional, and occupational needs.

Results / Accomplishments

At present, 21 school districts in central Massachusetts refer students to the program. From 2001-2004, the program served 276 youth. In the 2003-2004 school year, 13 out of 13 students passed the state tests in English and Language Arts, and 12 out of 13 passed in Mathematics.

An independent evaluation of the program by the Commonwealth Corporation found the program effective in the following areas:

- in focusing on the varied needs of individual students,
- in collaborating and communicating with home school districts and other partnering agencies
- in providing a hands-on approach to vocational training,
- in working with at-risk youth facing multiple barriers to success, and
- in keeping a high percentage of students in program long enough to graduate from high school.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Ed Sikonski
Project COFFEE
495 Main Street
Oxford, MA 01540
(508) 987-6090
Education / Student Performance K-12
Education / Vocational & Adult Education
Economy / Employment
Oxford Public Schools
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Oxford, MA
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens

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