The National Youth-At-Risk (NYAR) Center at the College of Education was approved by Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel in March 2013.
The NYAR Center develops, coordinates, and extends further the ongoing efforts of the College of Education to foster the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being of youth placed at risk by providing professional development, research support, and resource assistance for educators serving these youth within the geographical service region of Georgia Southern and beyond.
The NYAR Center takes its name from the NYAR Conference, Savannah, now in its 24th year. More than 1100 attendees throughout the U.S. and internationally attended the March 2013 three-day conference.
The Center extends 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 (Gap) Website. Through cutting-edge research efforts, the center also makes it possible for Georgia Southern University and the College of Education to play important roles in enabling educators to find research-based solutions to what is both a regional and national educational problem.
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 focuses on the “risky” conditions that threaten youth’s well-being which include a range of factors including poverty, racism, drugs, school violence, gangs, bullying, negative peer pressure, negative school climate, lack of relevant curriculum, passive instructional strategies, disregard for individual learning differences, ineffective discipline systems, low teacher expectations, unqualified teachers, inadequate counseling, teen pregnancy, sexual harassment and dysfunctional home life.