By providing valuable education and job training to more than 12,000 students every year, ESA programs have a positive, lasting impact on students, families and their communities.
ESA and its programs support the local communities they serve by providing employment opportunities to professionals and paraprofessionals with a wide variety of specialties—instructors, teaching assistants, therapists and educational specialists. Communities realize many long-term benefits when students pursue formal education opportunities and contribute as productive citizens with gainful employment.
Ombudsman Dropout Prevention
According to the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), a child drops out of high school every nine seconds1.
Through its Ombudsman dropout prevention program, ESA provides opportunities for at-risk students to earn a high school diploma and advance to the next stage in their lives. ESA’s Ombudsman alternative school programs help combat the staggering social and economic costs of high dropout rates.
A few facts:
- Dropouts from the class of 2008-9 will cost the U.S. economy nearly $335 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes2.
- The average high school dropout will cost taxpayers more than $292,000 in lower tax revenues paid, and increased spending on social costs such as welfare, healthcare and incarceration3.
- The average income for high school dropouts is nearly 58 percent less than for high school graduates4.
- High school dropouts are 3.5 times more likely than graduates to be imprisoned at
some point during their lifetime. They comprise nearly 30 percent of all federal inmates and 40 percent of all state inmates5.
Clearly, a high school credential has value to young people, their families and their communities. Ombudsman provides opportunities for students to earn a high school diploma and helps them prepare for life after high school.
Through its career education and service learning programs, Ombudsman coordinates with public schools, local agencies and employers to provide students with access to job coaching, career mentoring and work and volunteer opportunities. Students gain experience for future careers or continued education, and employers benefit from employees who are prepared to enter the workforce. Many Ombudsman programs encourage students to complete a predetermined number of service hours through volunteer efforts, employment or community engagement. The career education and service learning programs are reinforced with related classroom instruction.
Spectrum Center Special Needs Education
ESA’s nonpublic special education schools provide education and career opportunities to help students with special needs lead the most fulfilling, productive, independent adult lives possible.
Spectrum Center Schools and Programs impact students, families and communities by providing effective education opportunities for children with autism and other special needs.
The diagnosis rate and effects of autism and related spectrum disorders are significant:
Spectrum Center students participate in the WorkAbility
program, which partners students with local employers to provide training and employment opportunities that are mutually beneficial for employees and employers. Employers that participate in the WorkAbility program provide students with valuable work and life skills training that helps students
transition to life beyond the classroom.
ESA programs are accredited by AdvancED, the unified organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). Ombudsman is also accredited by the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES).
Spectrum Center is known for the quality of its research-based, data-driven programs and holds the highest rating from Western Association of Schools and Colleges
(WASC) in all categories for its pre-kindergarten through grade 12 programs.