Higher Achievement Program

A Good Idea


Higher Achievement Program (HAP) is a non-profit organization that offers enrichment programs and preparation assistance for high school placement to middle school children from underserved areas in the Washington, DC area. Based on the idea that middle school is a critical time of educational and social development for these children, HAP offers year-round programs including a Summer Academy, an After-School Academy during the academic school year, and a High School Placement Program.

HAP requires a three to four year commitment from students and parents in order to participate. Programs emphasize thorough instruction in core subjects such as math, science, literature and social studies, as well as social justice topics including freedom, justice, solidarity, and voice. HAP also aims to instill strong cultural values centered on intellectual curiosity, self-confidence, academic commitment and scholastic achievement.

Goal / Mission

The mission of HAP is to assist middle school students in underserved areas with improving their grades, school attendance, test scores, and access to learning opportunities, leading to admission into top high schools in the Washington, DC area.

Results / Accomplishments

During the 2007-2008 school year, over 400 children were served. Almost all (90%) of graduating students were admitted into top high schools, and 100% are attending high school. Average GPA of 2009 graduates was 2.5 in fifth grade and increased to 3.1 by the end of eighth grade. More than half (56%) of students scored 'proficient' or 'advanced' in reading, and 40% scored 'proficient' or 'advanced' in math on the 2008 DC Comprehensive Assessment System test.

HAP is currently conducting a randomized study in partnership with Public/Private Ventures to scientifically evaluate the impact of the intervention. The study includes 1,000 students in both treatment and control groups from May 1, 2006-May 1, 2011.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
National Office
1701 K ST. NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 861-7753
Education / Student Performance K-12
Education / Literacy
Higher Achievement Program
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA and Baltimore, MD
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens, Families, Racial/Ethnic Minorities

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