Model Program

The Academy at Old Cockrill

610 49th Ave North
Nashville, TN 37209

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Contact Information:
Mrs. Elaine Fahrner

Program Specification:






Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

High School


Grade Level
School Wide


Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities

The school is for 17-21 year olds. Students are in 12th grade.


The Academy is for students who have not been, or will not be, able to earn a diploma from a regular high school. The Academy is a non-traditional school with a rigorous and accelerated curriculum. Students who attend our school may earn up to 2 high school credits or more every 10 weeks. The Academy offers two classes each day, and each class is 3 hours long. Many of our classes offer a self-paced and competency-based environment meaning that you work at your own pace. Many classes offer project-based styles of instruction so that what you learn will apply to the real world and your life. At The Academy we are also focused on providing each student with what s/he needs to move on to the next step in their life after high school, whether that is college, job training, or directly into the work force. Students at The Academy are serious about obtaining their high school diploma. Our students attend school regularly and focus on the work they need to finish to achieve their goals. Each student that enrolls in The Academy is accepted for who they are, recognized as an individual, and feels a sense of belonging in our school community.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Adult Education, Bi-lingual/ESL, Career Education, Community Collaboration, Computer Assisted Instruction, Credit Recovery, Extended-School/Summer Program, Literacy Development, Transition Program, Small Learning Communities

Strategies for Locating Students:
Phone calls, Home visits, Personalized letters, Newspaper ads, Television ads/radio announcements, Online videos, Website with reenrollment options, Materials distributed in public venues, Posters displayed in public places, Outreach conducted at locations/events attended by youth, Current students asked to recruit friends, School or district teams to track students, Collaboration with other schools/districts, Collaboration with social service agencies/community-based organizations

Starting Date: 2009
Students Served Per Year: 50-250
Reenrolled Students with Disabilities: 1-5%
Last Verified: 2011

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • High number of work hours
  • Parenthood
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Highly socially active outside of school
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • High family mobility
  • Low education level of parents
  • Large number of siblings
  • Not living with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Low educational expectations
  • Sibling(s) has dropped out
  • Low contact with school
  • Lack of conversations about school

School factors

  • Limited resources: expenditures per student/ teacher salaries/ student-teacher ratios
  • School size: too small/too large
  • Race/ethnicity
  • School math achievement
  • School policies and practices
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher expectations

Community factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Local labor market/neighborhood stability
  • Youth social attitudes

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Involvement with positive peer activities
  • Perception of support from adults and peers


  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards
  • Positive/resilient temperament


  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility


  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self
  • Optimistic


  • Comprehensive diagnostic systems
  • Early warning systems
  • Personalized instruction and learning
  • Rigorous and relevant instruction
  • Academic support
  • Instruction on behavior and social skills
  • Supportive school climate
  • Encourage family involvement/community supports
  • Teach self-determination and self-advocacy skills including student/person-centered planning
  • Eliminate practices that push students out of school
  • Help students to address problems that interfere with learning

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is $200,000 - $500,000 or $1000 - $2000 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

Federal Agencies
State Agencies
Local/City/County Agencies
School Districts

School Administrators

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Instructional Texts/Manuals
Computer/Internet Based

Children's Special Services (Lentz Health Center), Nashville College Connection, Nashville Career Advancement Center, ACLU, pro-bono private therapy, Child Care Resource and Referral (Signal Center), pro-bono lawyers

Evaluation Information:

In just over 16 months of operation, The Academy at Old Cockrill has graduated close to 200 students that would not otherwise have had the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. Students at The Academy have not been able to finish school in a traditional high school due to an assortment of reasons ranging from child care issues to health and legal issues to family problems to name a few. For almost 200 students, The Academy has been a last chance to earn a high school diploma. The Academy is able to serve students through an accelerated schedule which allows students needing 8 credits or less to complete graduation requirements at any point within a school calender year.

How evaluation data was collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level