Project GPS: An Introduction Chris Napolitano, M.A. Research Assistant Ed Bowers, Ph.D. Program Director Mimi Arbeit Research Assistant
What are wetrying to do? Project GPS Goal for youth: To improve the goal management—or intentional self regulation—skills of youth in mentoring programs, helping them to achieve their goals and develop positively. Project GPS Goal for programs: To provide a research- and evidence- based, scientifically validated, flexible suite of tools designed to measure the longitudinal impact of programs on youth’s ISR and positive development.
Where does GPS Theory come from? Positive development happens when youth strengths are matched with contextual strengths. One of the most important youth strengths is ISR, or the ability to successfully select, work on, and adjust strategies for important life goals. In GPS Theory, there are three main skills: G, P, and S
GGoal Selection • Selecting meaningful, realistic, long-term goals • Being selective and “investing energy” in long-term goals • Goals should have short-term steps • Goals should improve life in multiple ways • The best goals benefit self and community
PPursuit of Strategies • Developing a plan and sticking to it • Practicing current strategies and looking for new ones • Using strategies with persistent effort at appropriate times • Monitoring progress to see if strategies are working
SShifting Gears • Replacing strategies that aren’t working with new ones • Adjusting strategies so that they might work in the future • Looking for help from people and other resources • Moving on to new goals at the right time
PYDPositive Youth Development Competence Confidence Character Caring Connection Contribution
Some measurement challenges Time intensive Self report Odd language
How do we measure GPS and PYD? Rubrics– a universal coding system
Rubrics • Videos • Activities
Nuts + Bolts • Now you need to: Participate in training Complete your consent form Identify the youth you will work with Obtain consent (from the youth and guardians)
Nuts + Bolts • At your first Project GPS meeting with the youth, you need to: Introduce GPS using Introductory Sessions A-D Youth and mentor both complete first rubrics online
Nuts + Bolts • At later meetings with the youth, you can: Re-introduce GPS Ask about goals Use activities and videos as desired Do the rubrics online 2 more times
Rubrics • Videos • Activities
Rubrics • There are several types of rubrics in Project GPS. • Rubrics vary by who will complete them, what they measure, and the age range of youth to which they refer • Today, we will go over the mentor-completed GPS rubrics for younger and older adolescents in detail.
Videos • Each video shows a young adult exemplar • While no single video covers each of the GPS and PYD skills, all of the skills are discussed in at least one of the videos. • For example, one mentor might choose a video that highlights “Seizing the Moment” if the mentee struggles with knowing the right time to act.
Gabe • http://www.youtube.com/user/tuftsgps#p/u/16/dqN6Ty8nZWY
Trevor • http://www.youtube.com/user/tuftsgps#p/u/23/AjyGKyoPNyU
What tools can mentors useto boost GPS? Use the Activities! Rubrics and videos may not always be enough to promote GPS and PYD. Project GPS has a full suite of activities designed to help mentors teach skills when mentees are having trouble.
Breaking down long term goals into short term steps • Breaking down a goal into small steps is like identifying the puzzle pieces that fit together • In this activity, youth will write or draw their goal on one side of cardboard, and then make puzzle pieces that represent each of the smaller steps towards the larger goal.
For example:Making the Honor Roll • Take notes during class • Study for tests and quizzes • Make a study group • Ask for help on things I don’t understand • Do homework • Ask for extra credit
Checking Progress • Checking progress towards reaching a goal can be like keeping track of the stops along a road trip. • In this activity, the youth will create a “map” of the steps and strategies involved in reaching their goals. • They can use this map to check progress and revise action plans.
Develop a “road map” to a goal, listing all the steps along the way. • In one color, make a route to your goal. This is your action plan. In another color, following the route, list the actions you have already taken. • Be creative! Add detours, rest stops, scenic views or maybe even some deadlines.
Today Make a roadmap that shows the “journey” you will take while using Project GPS with your mentee.
Some stops along the way include… • Complete consent forms • Participate in training • Identify the youth you will work with • Obtain consent from matches and guardians • Get ID number • Introduce GPS concepts and rubrics to youth with overview sessions • Complete the first rubric assessment, have youth complete their own assessment • Use activities as needed • Complete the rubric assessment two more times, at roughly even spacing. • Keep track of all activities you use in this process!