T C 125K • Plan II/KIPP Partnership
5:30 PM-7:30 PM
The focus of this course will be on the development of an effective and replicable mentoring program, matching selected Plan II students with mentees from KIPP Austin College Prep, a local charter school serving low-income students in grades 5 - 8. Assistance with oversight of mentor-mentee matches and ongoing case management will be provided by staff from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. The longer-term goal of the course is the development of a truly model service program at Plan II - one which may very well provide services in addition to mentoring; assist organizations and causes in addition to KIPP; and involve and impact not just course enrollees and veterans, but every Plan II student and ultimately to the broader student community at UT.
Participating students should aim to acquire enhanced knowledge and skills in at least the following areas: mentoring strategies and skills; KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) and related education reform efforts; program development; civic engagement and (servant) leadership; teamwork and trust.
* Attendance and participation at class sessions and group trips to KIPP
* Regular contact with mentee (minimum of two meetings and four hours/month)
* Early-semester conference with instructor (@30 minutes)
* Regular visitations and contributions to P2K listserve
* Readings (all required readings; at least one suggested reading)
* In-class presentation on a suggested reading or website (partner presentations encouraged)
* Ongoing personal journal (to be submitted to instructor at end of semester)
NOTE: The course is offered on a pass/fail basis only.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters: "Bigs in Schools: Training Manual for Volunteers"
Drayton, Bill: "Everyone a Changemaker: Social Entrepreneurship's Ultimate Goal" (MIT Press, 2006)
KIPP Austin College Prep: Volunteer Handbook; 2006 and 2007 Annual Reports
KIPP Foundation: 2006 Annual Report
New York Times: "What it Takes to Make a Student"; "Still Left Behind"
Search Institute: "40 Developmental Assets"
YouthLaunch: "The Next Big Thing: Handbook for Teen Bigs"
Bornstein, David: How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
Jaworski, Joseph: Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership
Loeb, Paul: Soul of a Citizen
Shore, Bill: The Cathedral Within
About the Professor
Grant Thomas is a career educator whose major focus for the past 28 years has been on systematic strategies for youth empowerment and service. He started the original PAL (Peer Assistance and Leadership) Program in Austin ISD in 1980, and guided its growth into a national model peer-mentoring program that is now being implemented by hundreds of school districts throughout Texas and the nation. In 1994 he established YouthLaunch, an Austin-based youth empowerment nonprofit, and served as its Executive Director for nine years. A former board member of the National Association of Peer Programs, he currently serves on the boards of both YouthLaunch and KIPP Austin. His educational background includes a B.A. from Princeton, magna cum laude (1967); an Ed. M. from Harvard (1974); and four years of graduate study in educational psychology at UT (1976-80).