UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF ACCESS TO SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES ON STUDENT OUTCOMES

Client
SPECIAL EDUCATION BIAS
Faculty
Ali Ahmed & Kristina Arakelyan
Team
Shirisha Adhikarla, Ramelle Brown, Jasmine Jeffers, Yuzhen Wang

Students with special needs have historically been overlooked in the American public school system and only in the last 50 years has the federal government provided explicit protections for these students. Existing literature shows evidence of ongoing and significant differences in referrals to special education services based on race and gender. The Capstone team sought to understand whether, and to what extent, disparities in special education access contribute to disparities in educational outcomes for marginalized groups. The team analyzed data from the 2011 Early Childhood Longitudinal Study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and developed a final report outlining its findings to help inform special education support and services.

Capstone Year

LEGISLATIVE AND PROCUREMENT ANALYSIS OF ECONOMIC IMPACT MITIGATION PROGRAMS

Client
GUIDEHOUSE
Faculty
Michael Dardia
Team
Afzal Dar, Jiaqiang He, Laina Michel, Nancy Yang

Guidehouse is a public-sector advisory firm that performs loan servicing, technology modernization, and financial services for the US Small Business Administration’s loan programs. Guidehouse enlisted a Capstone team to analyze the legislative and procurement aspects of three major economic relief programs implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic: the Paycheck Protection Program, the State Small Business Credit Initiative, and the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The team developed a comprehensive research methodology that comprised sourcing and analyzing public-sector data on the programs, reviewing research articles and academic journals, using data analysis to develop recommendations, and conducting interviews with experts identified by the client. The team delivered a white paper and infographic suggesting improvements in the implementation of economic assistance programs during unforeseen events.

Capstone Year

TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT INDEX

Client
SUFFOLK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING
Faculty
Michael Keane
Team
Capstone Team: Jane Bartman, Seth Kerr, Sarah Saltz, Arvind Sindhwani

The office of Downtown Revitalization and Transit-Oriented Development at the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning (SCEDP) promotes the development, growth, and retention of industry clusters that facilitate job opportunities, private capital investment, and tourism. To support the County’s efforts to retain and attract highly-skilled workers and young professionals, SCEDP works with municipalities to run technical and financing programs to promote transit-oriented development (TOD) around Long Island Railroad stations. The Capstone team worked with SCEDP to develop a plan for a Suffolk County TOD Index, an analytical tool to assess the location-based potential for TOD development and compare TOD suitability across locations. To develop the index, the team identified the key drivers of TOD success in Suffolk County by analyzing large amounts of public data and existing TODs through site visits, desktop research, and stakeholder interviews. Based on index-indicated TOD readiness, the team conducted several site-level analyses and provided high-level recommendations for future TODs.

Capstone Year

ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF NYC HIGH SCHOOL ADMISSIONS POLICY ON SCHOOL FUNDRAISING

Client
SCHOOL CHOICE AND FUNDRAISING
Faculty
Ali Ahmed & Kristina Arakelyan
Team
Charlotte Hsu, Julia Konrad, Jolly Luo, Xiangyu Ren

New York City implemented an open enrollment policy for high school admissions in 2004, allowing schools to set their own admissions policies and students to apply to schools outside their geographic zone—leading to an increase in admissions screenings based on factors such as student attendance and past academic performance. The Capstone team explored the impact of this policy on public school fundraising, hypothesizing that families seek out “opportunity hoarding” within screened schools. The team examined fundraising by school-supporting organizations as one measure of opportunity hoarding, constructed an original dataset linking publicly available tax records to school-level data to identify the change in per-pupil fundraising by school, and conducted a difference-in-difference analysis comparing the NYC school system to zoned districts within Long Island’s Nassau County. While the team found that overall fundraising increased after the 2004 policy change, the small sample of available data limits the statistical significance of the findings. The final report presents a model for linking fundraising data to individual schools and suggestions for improving data availability.

Capstone Year

DEVELOPING A CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP STRATEGY

Client
QUEENS PUBLIC LIBRARY
Faculty
Erica Foldy
Team
Erica Dattero, Dominick Ovalles, Molly Umble

Queens Public Library (QPL) is one of the largest public libraries in the country, providing over 8,000 programs and circulating over twelve million items per year to serve Queens’ two million residents. However, QPL lacks a diverse funding stream as most of its budget comes from New York City government funding. In an effort to expand upon its programs and services and improve its financial security, QPL enlisted a Capstone team to provide critical recommendations for increasing corporate fundraising efforts. The team conducted a literature review, expert interviews, an environmental scan, and case study profiles. Based on its research, the team developed a final report providing the client with the necessary tools to implement a successful corporate partnership strategy.

Capstone Year

EVALUATING THE SCOPE OF THE MEDICAL DEBT CRISIS

Client
RIP MEDICAL DEBT
Faculty
Rain Henderson
Team
Keith Donlon, Maya Noonan, Bamidele Odusote

Established in 2014, RIP Medical Debt has eradicated over $5.6 billion in medical debt to date, providing financial and mental relief for over three million people. Despite significant legislative changes like the Affordable Care Act, the national medical debt crisis persists, often destroying the financial stability of America’s most vulnerable communities: the sick, the elderly, and the poor. RIP Medical Debt engaged a Capstone team to provide a comprehensive overview of the medical debt crisis, including extensive research to determine the scope of the crisis, how medical debt is created, why it persists, and who is most impacted. The team conducted a landscape analysis, interviewed key stakeholders, and surveyed existing efforts to decrease medical debt. The final report includes the team’s analysis of the current state of medical debt as well as specific recommendations to guide RIP Medical Debt’s emerging public policy agenda.

Capstone Year

DEVELOPING THE STRATEGIC DIRECTION FOR A UK-BASED FISCAL HOST FOLLOWING BREXIT

Client
GLOBAL DIALOGUE
Faculty
Paul Smoke
Team
Yuliya Antipova, Honor Donnie, Madeline Flaherty

Global Dialogue is an independent, international platform for philanthropic partnership, enabling funders to work together to advance human rights and social change within countries in the European Union (EU). Fiscal host organizations offer incubation and operational support for grants and small funders. Global Dialogue engaged a Capstone team to help determine its strategic direction as a UK-based fiscal host following Brexit. The team was tasked with evaluating the potential costs and benefits of partnering with an EU entity, establishing its own operation in an EU jurisdiction, or maintaining its current status. Using information obtained from desktop research and stakeholder interviews, the team prepared a final report outlining strategic options for Global Dialogue in the context of broader trends within the philanthropy and fiscal host sector.

Capstone Year

NYU Wagner Convocation | Classes of 2020 and 2021

The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service celebrated the Classes of 2020 and 2021 at New York City Center on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. We are proud of our exceptional graduates and grateful for the opportunity to recognize their accomplishments alongside friends, family, and faculty.

Laura McGinley

Laura McGinley
Executive Master of Public Administration-Public Service Leaders2018
Chief External Relations Officer
University Settlement

Barbara Ricci

Barbara Ricci
Executive Master of Public Administration-Public Service Leaders2019
Principal
Ricci Advisors LLC

CAPACITY BUILDING FOR SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING OUTCOMES

Client
HUNGER PROJECT
Faculty
Kathleen Apltauer
Team
Adi Gorstein, Harvey Han, Sasha Lopez

The Hunger Project (THP) is a nonprofit organization committed to ending hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their adoption worldwide. THP enlisted a team to examine barriers to successful fundraising in select countries in Africa. The team investigated global funding trends, interviewed THP country directors and fundraising teams, and analyzed the organization’s grant database. Based on its findings, the team recommended fundraising strategies for THP to adopt, including an emphasis on local fundraising opportunities, and designed strategies to improve communication among country offices, build technical capacity at the local level, and increase access to regional and local funding.

Capstone Year