MPP students put analysis into action

USC MPP students Jeanette Borden, Avery Seretan, Shinquell Green and Christopher Records present research project findings to the L.A. Compact Data Workgroup. (Photo/Tom Queally)

USC Price School of Public Policy students consult on best practices to measure collective impact


The MPP team made recommendations about how the L.A. Compact can improve cradle-to-career data tracking and evaluation of collective impact initiatives.

MPP students Jeanette Borden, Shinquell Green, Christopher Records and Avery Seretan explored a collective impact education initiative called the L.A. Compact, for their client, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Led by the nonprofit UNITE-LA, the L.A. Compact brings together the mayor of Los Angeles, the city council president, the superintendent of the LAUSD, labor and business leaders, and 11 college and university administrators with the goal of improving youth education and workforce outcomes in Los Angeles County.

By studying best practices from more than 70 different collective impact organizations across the United States, the students identified common approaches to data tracking, as well as noteworthy exceptions.

The USC Price students presented their findings and recommendations to the L.A. Compact’s staff and Data Workgroup.

'The students were fantastic — very professional, organized, smart and productive,' said Lisa Catanzarite, director of research and evaluation for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and UNITE-LA. 'We really appreciate all of their hard work.'

The students drew their motivation to work hard from a deep investment in educational outcomes.

'We’re all actually former Teach for America corps members,' said Seretan, who plans to pursue her Doctor of Education at the USC Rossier School of Education in the fall. 'Overall, we were all really deeply invested in education, and knowing that our client was so heavily invested in collective impact as a tool for education was really inspiring. It definitely made our job just a little bit more meaningful that we were producing something that’s going to be used in the L.A. area for the kids we are directly impacting.'"

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