CORE Compass

The CORE Compass Course is a program that has proven to benefit both teachers and students. For the past decade, the CORE Compass Course has been the signature youth program of CORE Learning Services, used to help level the playing field for at-risk youth in high-school and middle school. This program brought The Balancing Act work with adults to schools to improve the life, work and relationship skills of youth. The CORE Compass Course is a highly systemic approach to improving the lives of both students and teachers. To learn more about what this program can do for students, teachers, parents and schools, contact us for a conversation.

What this program accomplishes for Students
The Compass Course is a 5-step life, work, and relationship skills development program that teaches students the 5 Elements of Success. It has been used for years in middle and high-schools where it has been shown to: 
  • increase standardized test scores
  • reduce stress (for both students and teachers!)
  • improve classroom behavior and participation
  • increase attendance (to meet AYP goals)
  • improve school culture.

The Compass Course curriculum follows a methodology that was first outlined in The Balancing Act, and that has been used during the past decade with adults in the US and Europe for leadership training and for executive or career coaching. This 5-step process, which is based on the cross-cultural holistic healing model of the center and four directions, helps students and their teachers recognize innate gifts, form strong relationships with teachers and each other, and develop the skills they need to become happy, healthy, caring, and prosperous adults.


Proven results

The CORE Compass Course has helped close the achievement gap for vulnerable youth. To this end, we worked with urban teenagers who are statistically at high-risk of not completing high school: 90-95% of our students are African-American and Hispanic youth (mostly young men) from poverty-status families. The Compass Course was designed to relieve some of the extreme social and economic pressures on these teenagers by helping them determine their own life and career direction.

The CORE Compass Course has demonstrated a measurable impact by improving standard testing scores and school attendance in our teenage population. Specifically our students had:

  • + 11% better school attendance than their peers (an early indicator of success in completing high school)
  • Improvement in English Test Scores compared with year 1 baseline control group:
    • + 8% English MCAS scores in year 1 of the CORE Compass program
    • +16% in year 2
  • Improvement in English Test Scores compared with year 1 baseline control group:
    • + 5% Math MCAS scores in year 1
    • + 27% in year 2

As the data above demonstrates, the students in the Compass Course program performed significantly better than their peers. Due to that early success, TES asked CLSI to serve the entire sophomore class in year 2.  Amazingly, the percentage of students who passed their MCAS increased even more in our second year at TES! (Note: Our other school, Community Academy in Roxbury, showed similar improvement trends but because these students enroll throughout the year - after being expelled from other schools - the constantly changing population did not allow for reliable data for our "before/after" comparisons.)

We believe that these remarkable test scores are largely the result of our teens developing more self-esteem, impulse control, mental clarity, positive attitude, motivation and focus. Other notable outcomes of The Compass Course include students developing a stronger sense of personal awareness and a feeling of belonging to a school community (both are violence-prevention indicators). 


Benefits for Teachers

Not only students benefit from the CORE Compass Course! Teachers reported improved class participation and better behavior. They also cited increased job satisfaction and an ability to interact better with their students (staff retention indicators). Administrators reported that a more cohesive school culture had formed as a result of our initiative.  Teachers, administrators, and school counselors can receive professional development credits by becoming certified in the CORE Compass program. To learn more, contact us for a conversation.


See Teacher Testimonials:

  • I see a significant difference in the daily behavior, professionalism, and productivity of those who have taken this program and those who have not.
  • I am able to stand back, listen, wait and observe and think, then make corrective actions which have led to a more harmonious classroom atmosphere.
  • It helped me be aware that I control the environment in the classroom and not the students nor other adults.
  • I noticed in others a great weight taken off their shoulders and that without these burdens they are happier and are less prone to be put off-balance.
  • I changed because I can step back and observe the situation before I react. I am much calmer and use anger sparingly, if at all.
  • I try now not to waste my energy on the small stuff and feel more focused.
  • I'm much more positive and can rise above situations.
  • I have found ways to confront another staff person positively - which enabled me to stop hiding in my room and took away my fear.
  • Instead of being distracted by things, I am saving my energy for the students.
  • I became aware of my triggers and how not to get hooked into negative behaviors and thoughts.
  • I am able to speak and think more clearly.
  • I noticed that my classmates in this course now avoid energy-zapping behavior of others and are less judgmental.
  • The course has been a wonderful eye-opener for me. It has allowed me to take time for myself and look at situations more openly, not judging or wanting to change them.
  • I have gone back into the soul of myself--learning to prioritize and not let others draw me into bad situations.
  • People in this course have all grown to be better individuals--controlling their destiny and seeing the good in themselves.