IMPROVING HUMAN RESOURCES PRACTICES IN SUPPORT OF STRATEGY
Education Reform Now (ERN) is a non-partisan, nonprofit think tank and advocacy organization that promotes increased resources and innovative reforms in K-16 public education, particularly for students of color and students from low-income families. ERN’s Human Resources (HR) department enlisted a Capstone team to assess the impact of its recently implemented strategic plan initiatives, identify organizational gaps within existing HR processes, and create strategies for the next phase of ERN’s strategic plan. The team conducted a literature review and environmental scan on best practices for employee onboarding and retention, conducted interviews with eight senior leaders, and launched a survey to solicit feedback from ERN’s 45 employees on implementation and future priorities. Using this data, the team produced a report outlining recommendations on how to improve HR processes around employee recruitment, onboarding, and retention, while incorporating principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
CREATING A SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATOR’S HANDBOOK
Broadway for Arts Education (BAE) is a NYC-based youth development nonprofit that provides arts education to students in underserved communities. BAE’s programming includes dance, music, and theater. BAE and its Teaching Artists (TA) serve roughly 2,000 high school students at schools in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan that are eligible for Title I funding. A key component of BAE’s mission is to incorporate social justice and advocacy into its learning experiences, but many TAs feel unequipped to achieve this goal. The organization engaged a Capstone team to create a cohesive handbook to help TAs incorporate social justice into their programs. The team conducted background research, including a literature review and environmental scan, surveyed TAs, observed classroom sessions, and conducted focus groups with students. With its findings, the team produced a final report detailing its recommendations, and a Social Justice Educator’s Handbook that provides TAs with best practices, sample activities, and thematic designs for teaching advocacy through the arts.