Although Avenues’ first priority is to provide an exceptional education to the students it serves, it also has a number of broader educational missions.
This will be achieved via four strategies.
First, there is substantial financial aid for students and families. This began at the opening of the school and is a permanent, ongoing program. At capacity, the Chelsea campus is budgeted to provide $4 million per year in financial assistance, which will provide full or partial scholarships for approximately 160 students. As Avenues’ campuses open in other cities around the globe, similar financial aid programs will be initiated. Over the next several decades, Avenues’ objective is to provide annual scholarships to nearly 4,000 students at our 20+ campuses worldwide.
Second, Avenues is committed to the development of innovative financial aid approaches that might dramatically expand the level of service to less advantaged students. One promising possibility is the creation of a related Avenues “virtual school” designed to provide courses to students far from Avenues’ campuses. For example, the Delhi campus could put its courses on the web, making them available to millions of students in India either free or at very low cost.
Third, Avenues fields substantial programs in New York City to attract students from all cultures, races and creeds. Given Avenues’ unique global focus, it is a highly attractive alternative for international families.
Fourth, as Avenues expands around the world, its broader learning community, comprised of campuses in the world’s leading cultures, will be exceedingly rich in cultural diversity among both students and staff. That community will embrace thousands of students and faculty from China, India, Europe, Africa and Latin America, all an integral part of Avenues’ culture and representing unprecedented cultural diversity within the student body and faculty.
Community service began with the $60 million restoration of an important historic building and the hundreds of construction jobs related to that.
For the 2014-2015 school year, Avenues New York employs over 250 faculty and staff members, many of whom reside in the Chelsea area.
Avenues’ 215,000-square-foot facility is often used for community programs and events.
Part of the financial aid program for Avenues New York is targeted toward the immediate Chelsea community.
Community service is an integral part of Avenues’ curriculum. Students and faculty are encouraged to engage in a variety of ways with community groups in the neighborhood.
Avenues’ leadership team is interested in advancing education worldwide—not just within the walls of its own campuses but for all students. The team members have long histories and deep roots in the educational reform movement and a desire to improve every aspect of schooling—from more effective pedagogy to higher student outcomes, better teacher rewards and more effective use of technology.
Two aspects of Avenues’ plan enhance the ability to make such contributions. First, one of the advantages of a system of 20 or more campuses is that its scale enables ongoing, well-funded research and development, far beyond what a single-site institution can field. Second, Avenues’ R&D efforts draw upon the highly diverse nature of its faculty and students. The school is uniquely positioned to identify and build upon educational breakthroughs from the many cultures represented within the learning community. Equally important, the ability to disseminate these innovations will be enhanced as the global footprint of Avenues’ operations grows.
The first such effort—design of the Avenues curriculum —at its height involved more than 100 leading thinkers and practitioners, many on Avenues’ full-time staff but others from leading colleges and universities. Though some of what is created will be proprietary to Avenues, much will be published and distributed to practitioners and scholars around the world.