Global Education, News + People
Looking Ahead with 20/20 Clarity: Our Year in Review
With the new year and new decade in full swing, we want to take time to reflect and celebrate the successes of the previous year as we continue to work toward achieving our common goal of uniting the world through global learning. To learn more about our impact and accomplishments in 2019, read on to examine our year in review.
Representing twenty-nine different home countries, we currently have 1,189 cultural exchange teachers, 341 of which began their cultural exchange journeys this year. Our programs and teachers are in 438 schools in sixty-eight different school districts across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. With programs and teachers combined, this impacts more than 60,000 students every day.
Since the start of the 2019–20 school year, our program managers have supported our partner schools with over 700 personal connections. This individualized support includes site visits, training sessions, teacher meetings, and instructional walk-throughs to ensure quality programming.
Our Participate teachers continue to express their satisfaction with their schools and communities and working with Participate Learning. This manifests itself through 91 percent renewals, a 97 percent satisfaction rating, and an average tenure of 4.1 years as a cultural exchange teacher.*
*Teachers can apply for a two-year extension to extend their initial three-year visa.
In our eighth year as a B Corporation (B-Corp), we were humbled to be recognized as a 2019 “Best for the World” honoree. This achievement indicates that our company-wide impact scored in the top 10 percent of all certified B Corps in the “overall” category as well as the “customers” category.
We were also winners of the inaugural Top 100 “Real Leaders Impact Award.” This award recognizes purpose-driven companies who are committed to creating a better world for all and are using their business models as a force for good. And, since January 2016, we have maintained our certification as an Orange County Living Wage company, providing fair pay for all employees.
None of the work we do would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our Participate teachers. In 2019, thirteen of our teachers were recognized for going above and beyond and were honored at the local or regional level as teachers of the year. We extend our sincerest congratulations to all who achieved this honor.
Working with the Department of State
This fall we hosted representatives from the Department of State for their comprehensive on-site review. We’re proud to report that the Department of State concluded its review a full day early while remarking that Participate Learning consistently demonstrated best practices across all categories.
As the largest provider of J-1 visa cultural exchange teachers, and with over three decades of experience, we’ve created a systematic approach toward standards, quality, and compliance. The validation from the Department of State reaffirmed our position as a leader in global education and energized our team.
Continuing Dual Language Instruction through Middle School
According to the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) data gathered from 2014 to 2019, a significant percentage of students enrolled in Participate Learning’s Conexiones program see improvements in proficiency across speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
- 78 percent improve or maintain speaking proficiency. After students transition from a significant portion of their school day being devoted to a second language in elementary school to only one to two hours in middle school, Conexiones provides benefits to help maintain speaking abilities.
- 88 percent improve or maintain writing proficiency. These results highlight the ability of Conexiones to impact one of the most challenging skills to maintain and grow.
- 89 percent improve or maintain listening skills. We see more emphasis on maintaining proficiency, as students typically have excellent listening skills, having been exposed to the language since kindergarten.
- 80 percent improve or maintain reading skills, a fundamental proficiency for the language itself as well as for earning the Seal of Biliteracy.
Looking ahead with 20/20 clarity, the accomplishments from the past year only fuel our fire to continue to find ways to improve as a company and spread awareness about the long-lasting benefits of global education for students. For more information on how you can get involved, check out our global programs page or contact us directly.