Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills (GRADS) is a program to keep pregnant and parenting teens in school, with additional goals to encouraging good health care practices and to help young parents set occupational goals for grades 7-12.
GRADS is approved by PEP (Peer Education Program) for all pregnant and parenting teens, male and female, in grades 7-12 from city, exempted village, local, and joint vocational school districts in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
GRADS is a Family and Consumer Sciences instructional and intervention program. Regular GRADS classes are supplemented with seminars and individual projects.
Teachers trained in the program serve one school or travel among three or four. The instruction focuses on the practical problems, concepts, and strategies, which guide the development of skills in teenage parents. Programs discuss communication and skills necessary for effective problem solving in the teen family. It recognizes the stresses affecting pregnant teens, focusing on management skills required for teen family wellness. Central themes of the curriculum (which emphasizes practical problem solving) are the perennial and practical problems of the adolescent parent at home, school, and work; and the development of knowledge and skills to solve problems in real life, including identifying alternatives, examining consequences, considering personal goals and values, scrutinizing decisions, and taking morally defensible actions.
The four content areas emphasized include:
- a positive self
- the pregnancy
- parenting and
- economic independence.
Audio visuals, supplemental texts, and other materials are also part of the program. The advisory committee component and home and community outreach component seek to build strong relationships with students through home visits and/or contacts with family. Collaboration and agency linkages are necessary for addressing the obstacles teen parents face to being able to remain in school until graduation. The evaluation/research component seeks to identify and report student and program outcomes. All programs report outcomes, and a state and national report is published annually.
Audience Validated by the U.S. Department of Education's Program Effectiveness Panel, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, for all pregnant and parenting teens, male and female, in grades 7-12 from city, community, county, and vocational school districts in urban, suburban and rural communities.
Description: Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills (GRADS) is an in-school Family and Consumer Sciences instructional and intervention program for pregnant and parenting teens, male and female. Objectives focus on graduation and retention, positive health care practices, knowledge of positive parenting practices, setting vocational and career goals, balancing work and family and delaying subsequent pregnancies.
The instructional component is based upon the Ohio Graduation, Reality And Dual-role Skills (GRADS) Content Standards. The community outreach component strengthens family involvement as well as the involvement of community agencies and organizations. The advisory committee component builds strong school and community support for the program. The evaluation component determines program effectiveness.
Evidence of Effectiveness: Pregnant and parenting teens enrolled in the program are more likely to remain in school during pregnancy and after childbirth; are more likely to obtain early prenatal care; are less likely to deliver low birth weight babies; are likely to increase their knowledge of positive parenting practices; and are less likely to have a subsequent pregnancy while still in school.
Requirements: The instructor must be a vocationally certified Family and Consumer Sciences teacher.
Sponsors: The Ohio Department of Education.