Re-engaging disconnected youth

This report by Melanie Skemer and colleagues at MDRC presents implementation and early impact results from a random assignment evaluation of the Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), a subsidised employment programme for young people (ages 16 to 24) in New York City who are disconnected from school and work. YAIP offers participants a 10- to 12-week paid internship along with services such as job training and individual support.

MDRC reports that from July 2013 to March 2014, nearly 2,700 young people were assigned at random to either a programme group, which was offered YAIP services, or to a control group, which was not offered those services. MDRC is measuring outcomes for both groups over time to assess whether YAIP services lead to better outcomes. Data sources include administrative records on wages and postsecondary enrolment, subsidised employment payroll records and surveys conducted approximately 4, 12 and 30 months after participants entered the study.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Participation rates were high: over three-quarters of young people assigned to the programme group worked in a subsidised internship and 86 percent of those young people completed the internship.
  • Programme group members were more likely than control group members to report receiving employment services, as well as advice or support and mentorship from staff members at an agency or organisation. However, substantial numbers of control group members also reported receiving help in these areas.
  • Programme group members were more likely than the control group members to work in the year following random assignment, but the quarterly employment rates of the two groups converged after the YAIP internships ended.

MDRC plans to release a report in 2018 that will present YAIP’s final impact results, with a longer-term follow-up of 30 months, as well as the results of a benefit-cost analysis.

Source: Reengaging New York City’s disconnected youth through work: implementation and early impacts of the young adult internship program. (April 2017), OPRE Report 2017-22, MDRC

Linked Learning students more likely to graduate than comparison students

A recent report of an ongoing multi-year study by SRI International finds that students participating in Linked Learning Districts in California are more likely to graduate than similar students in traditional high school programmes.

The nine California Linked Learning Districts attempt to make schooling more relevant for students by integrating work experiences with in-class curriculum. Students are exposed to the working environment through job-shadowing and occasional internships. Students choose from among 37 career pathways and their schooling incorporates career-oriented classes.

315,000 Linked Learning mostly minority, low-income students were compared to demographically similar students in traditional high school programmes. Results showed that compared to the comparison group, Linked Learning students:

  • Were 5.2 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school.
  • Earned more academic credits.
  • Were on track to graduate on time at the end of 10th grade (Year 11).
  • Attended more college visits and submitted more college applications.

Source: Taking Stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative: Fifth-Year Evaluation Report (2015), SRI