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Building Evidence that Counts: Evaluating Career Pathways Interventions for Disconnected Youth and Adults in the U.S. David Fein Abt Associates Inc firstname.lastname@example.org. Improving Education through Accountability and Evaluation: Lessons from Around the World Rome, Italy 3 October, 2012.
Building Evidence that Counts: Evaluating Career Pathways Interventions for Disconnected Youth and Adults in the U.S.
Abt Associates Inc
Improving Education through Accountability and
Evaluation: Lessons from Around the World
3 October, 2012
IV. 1-2-Year Certificate to AA Programs Mid-Level Skilled Jobs
III. Short-Term Certificate ProgramsEntry-Level Skilled Jobs
II. Sectoral Bridge Programs Semi-Skilled Jobs
I. Basic Bridge Programs
The Basic Career Pathways Model
Prospects for good-paying, stable employment
Occupational, academic, and life skills
Theory of Change for
Take First/ Next Step In Career Pathway/Lattice
Increase Performance & Persistence in Training
Foundational Academic Skills
TO NEXT STEP
Improve Performance & Advancement in Jobs
Career Orientation and Knowledge
Improve Other Outcomes
Other Personal and Family Challenges
Contextual Factors: Institutional, Economic, Social
Illustrative Evidence on More Explicit Career Pathways Approaches: Comprehensive, well-targeted “first step” training programs can have substantial impacts
Sectoraltraining (Maguire et al. 2010)
3 experienced CBOs provide customized short-term training in varied high-demand fields
Disadvantaged adults, HS+, careful screening (n=1,014)
Year Up (Roder & Elliott 2011)
National org provides 6 months customized training + 6 month paid internship in IT and finance sectors
Disadvantaged urban youth 18-24, HS+
Program articulates w/local colleges, completers earn 14+ credits
Results from small initial experiment (n=164)
Evaluations should be designed in ways that invite practitioners to make use of the results and adopt solid practices based on evidence. We need to recognize the role of motivated program leaders at the center of evaluation efforts, to ensure that these efforts advance program theory and practice, rather than merely fulfilling a funder request. Research tells us that organizations and their leaders need to own and trust information in order to use it. Partnership on the ground between practitioners and evaluators, along with the long-term support of committed public and private funders, is indispensable if the goal is to deliver evaluations that actually improve program quality and effectiveness.