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The Education Effect

In September 2011, FIU and Miami-Dade County Public Schools established The Education Effect, a university supported community school partnership to improve educational outcomes in schools across the county. Sparked by a three-year seed investment from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the partnership connects the community, schools, students and parents with university expertise, resources and research-based intervention programs to address pressing educational and social needs of students.

Since then Education Effect has expanded into Booker T. Washington High School in Overtown and most recently into Jesse J. McCrary Jr.  Elementary in Little Haiti.

The expansion into Overtown was funded by a $1 million seed investment from The Lennar Foundation,  and focused on promoting 100 percent graduation, improving college and career readiness and increasing the engagement of parents and the community. Special emphasis was placed on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), including enhancing the school’s existing Engineering Academy.

The expansion into Little Haiti was made possible by a local philanthropist’s $2 million donation. The gift, the largest given to Education Effect, came from Rose Ellen Greene, a longtime volunteer at Jesse J. McCrary Jr. The expansion into McCrary Elementary marks the first time the program will be working with students, their parents and the community, and will incorporate researchers, faculty and staff from FIU’s Center for Children and Families, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary clinical center committed to improving the lives of children and families.

The program’s successes include supporting increased graduation rates from 64 percent to 82 percent at Northwestern, supporting both high schools in achieving a “B” grade from the state, and providing them with increased college credit courses.


  • Aquaponics Lab and Organic at MNW, an integrated program for advancing STEM education and healthy living in Liberty City, in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences and the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism
  • Bull Investors Financial Literacy and Investment Program in collaboration with College of Business
  • Expanding opportunities for MNW students to take college courses for college credit in high school through Dual Enrollment
  • Service Learning: FIU and MNW students participate in classes where academic learning outcomes are integrated with civic engagement
  • Panther for A Day College Visits & Advising: strategic early college exposure and advising interventions for students from MNW and feeder middle schools
  • The FIU Golden Scholars Summer Bridge Program: an early entry college transition program for MDCPS students entering FIU to support increase of students of African-American descent entering FIU


Donnie Hale Jr., Ed.D.
Director, The Education Effect


"Miami Northwestern Senior High School has served as a center of pride for our Liberty City community. 'The West' was always known as a powerhouse for athletics - and it still is. Today, Miami Northwestern has renewed its goal - to become a powerhouse in academics as well. The Education Effect has emerged as a change agent to support 'The West' as academic champions." - Wallace Aristide, Principal, Miami Northwestern Senior High School

"When I walked into Miami Northwestern, it was as if there was a sense of opportunity at that school... it was as if that school was going to take me where I needed to go...  The Education Effect has brought me to places I had never thought possible. I didn't know that I was going to be in an Agroecology program at FIU and have a $26,000 scholarship. When I was younger I always dreamed of being in the medical field. Now I am actually going towards my dream." - Angie Fleurissaint, Miami Northwestern, Class of 2012

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