Community Advocacy Project for Students (CAPS) partnership between Texas Tech University and Covenant Health
Community Advocacy Project for Students (CAPS) is a partnership between Texas Tech University and Covenant Health, with the goal of establishing a systemically-based community designed program to engage, support and nurture at-risk youth where they will feel safe, loved and able to thrive. CAPS is designed to assist at-risk students through difficult transitions, especially students who have been sent to alternative campuses. Currently, the program is offered to middle and high school students in the Lubbock Independent School District with additional early intervention available in targeted elementary schools.
Volunteer and staff advocates work one-on-one with students weekly and also within small groups, to empower youth to achieve personal and academic success. Advocates guide students to develop life skills including emotional regulation, self-efficacy, resiliency and self-esteem. This is achieved by serving as an advocate for these students and a liaison for school administration.
Students often struggle in transitioning from an alternative education setting back to their mainstream middle or high school campus. Challenges to a successful transition include falling behind academically, returning to negative influences from peer groups and the inability to adjust to a less structured environment. These challenges often set the student on a course toward a revolving door between the alternative educational setting and their assigned campus. Both the student and school benefit from a smooth transition back into the traditional classroom setting.
Students are identified and referred to CAPS by school counselors, teachers and administrators. Students are also screened by CAPS staff to determine if they are willing to learn new and appropriate life skills in order to function more successfully in the school setting.
A CAPS team advocate meets weekly with the student to build resilience and promote success. During each session, advocates will listen to the student's needs and relay concerns through a CAPS developed reporting system. CAPS also facilitates life skills groups for the schools. The focus is on helping students with goal setting and identifying obstacles the students may encounter, while teaching them to advocate for themselves.
The advocates follow an established curriculum that focuses on a comprehensive wellness approach to look at the whole child: physically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally.
Covenant Health proudly supports this vital program by providing funding, volunteers to work directly with students, and free counseling to those families in need of mental health services. You can also see this story on the Education page.