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Georgia Southern Creates Center to Help Youth-At-Risk

3-11 GS creates center to help at-risk youthGeorgia Southern University announces the creation of the National Youth-At-Risk (NYAR) Center at the College of Education (COE) to train educators to help boys and girls overcome bullying, violence and other challenges in their local schools.

“Once again, Georgia Southern University is answering the call to address issues that face our region and nation,” said University President Brooks Keel, Ph.D., in announcing the Center’s creation. “Educators serving youth placed at-risk in our service area, in Georgia and throughout the United States need professional development, research support and resource assistance to reduce or eliminate the harmful effects of problematic conditions threatening youth in our schools and communities.”

The NYAR Center will develop, coordinate and extend the ongoing efforts of COE to provide professional development, research support and resource assistance for educators serving youth placed at-risk within the geographical service area of Georgia Southern and beyond, according to professor and NYAR Conference co-chair Dan Rea. The 24th annual conference wrapped up last week in Savannah with more than 1,100 attendees from throughout the U.S. and the world.

“The NYAR Center is an important addition to the College of Education and our mission,” said Tom Koballa, dean of the College of Education. “It places COE in the forefront of fostering research and providing professionals with the latest educational programs and strategies to assist youth in overcoming at-risk conditions.”

The Center will extend three of COE’s current efforts to address the needs of educators to serve youth placed at-risk: the annual NYAR Conference, the annual Southeast Conference on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and the Closing the Achievement Gap for Educators website. Through cutting-edge research efforts, the Center will also make it possible for Georgia Southern and the College of Education to play important roles in enabling educators to find research-based solutions to regional and national educational problems.

Youth-at-risk signifies the urgency and seriousness of societal “risks” faced by today’s youth and is distinct from “at-risk youth.” The NYAR Conference and new Center focus on the conditions that threaten the well-being of youths which include poverty, racism, drugs, gangs, negative peer pressure, negative school climate, unqualified teachers, passive instructional strategies, disregard for individual learning differences, ineffective discipline systems, low teacher expectations, inadequate counseling, teen pregnancy, sexual harassment and dysfunctional home life.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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