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Formerly known as the Princeton Center for Leadership Training

Peer Group Connection (PGC)

Through Peer Group Connection (PGC), CSS trains school faculty to teach leadership courses to select groups of older students, who in turn educate and support younger students. Our goal is to help schools enable and inspire young people to become engaged leaders who positively influence their peers. The CSS peer-to-peer student leadership model taps into schools’ most underutilized resources – students – and enlists them in strengthening the educational offerings of a school while simultaneously advancing their own learning, growth, and development.

Transition to High School

High School Juniors and Seniors Supporting Freshmen in Their Transition to High School

Peer Group Connection (PGC) for High Schools is an evidence-based program that supports and eases students’ successful transition from middle to high school. The program taps into the power of high school juniors and seniors to create a nurturing environment for incoming freshmen. Once per week, pairs of junior and senior peer leaders meet with groups of 10-14 freshmen in outreach sessions designed to strengthen relationships among students across grades. These peer leaders are simultaneously enrolled in a daily, for-credit, year-long leadership course taught by school faculty during regular school hours. PGC is CSS’s seminal peer leadership program, and has been implemented with a 70% sustainability rate in more than 175 high schools since 1979. A recently released, four-year longitudinal, randomized-control study conducted by Rutgers University and funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services found that, among other major results, PGC improves the graduation rates of student participants in an inner city public school by ten percentage points and cuts by half the number of male students who would otherwise drop out.
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Transition to Middle School

Eighth Grade Students Supporting Younger Students in Their Transition to Middle School

Peer Group Connection (PGC) for Middle Schools is a research-based program that supports and eases students’ successful transition into middle school. The program taps into the power of eighth graders to create a nurturing environment for incoming middle school students. Once per week, pairs of eighth graders meet with groups of 8-10 incoming middle school students in outreach sessions designed to strengthen relationships among students across grades. These peer leaders are simultaneously enrolled in a daily, for-credit, year-long leadership course taught by school faculty during regular school hours. PGC for Middle Schools is the middle school version of CSS’s flagship program: PGC for High Schools.

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