Update on Process for Selecting a New Education Partner from Tessa Nicholas, Executive Director

February 2021

On January 20, 2021, the Civicorps Board of Directors voted to pursue partnership with Alameda County Office of Education Opportunity Academy to run its high school diploma program. Based on the Civicorps – Ad Hoc Committee recommendation, which conducted an exhaustive review of options, the Board concluded that finding an educational partner was the best way to preserve the work of the organization, invest more deeply in job training and career pathways, provide continuity for students seeking their diplomas, maintain labor obligations, and protect the organization’s overall long-term financial sustainability. As directed by the Board, Civicorps Academy will not be renewing its current charter.

The mission of Civicorps is to re-engage young adults, age 18-26, to earn their high school diplomas, gain job skills, pursue college, and embark on family sustaining careers.  When Civicorps was founded in 1983, there were few options for people returning to school to obtain their high school diploma.  That is no longer the case.  More and more Corpsmembers arrive at Civicorps with high school diplomas in hand.  Their need for excellent job-training, access to productive internships and effective support services must be treated as equal to the educational needs of those who are completing their high school requirements while at Civicorps.

Additionally, the resources, both financial and human, required to run a California charter school have exploded in recent years making the high school program difficult to sustain. The pandemic has exacerbated financial pressures on non-profits like ours, and although we did receive some deferral support funding, it was never designed to be used to permanently provide operational funds for the school.

Whatever changes lay ahead, our mission will not waver.  Please reach out to us with questions at civicorps.schools@gmail.com.


For these reasons, Civicorps is ready to plan for its next phase.  On November 18, 2020, an Ad Hoc Advisory Exploratory Committee of the Civicorps Board recommended, in accordance with the assumption stated in our FY21 budget, that Civicorps partner with an education provider effective July 1, 2021. Click here to read the Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendation in its entirety.

With an external education provider joining our team to support students in obtaining their high school diplomas, Civicorps will be able to focus on the many facets of its program. We will have renewed resources to expand partnerships, internships and career pathways. Our work with Waste Management and our long-standing partnerships with East Bay Regional Park DistrictEast Bay MUD, and others has us well positioned to enhance our workforce development programming and further support the college and career dreams of our Corpsmembers.