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To and Through College: The Need for Postsecondary Transition Support Programs

This blog post was written by Jennifer Hogg of Social Policy Research Associates. The leaky pipeline to a bachelor’s degree is getting leakier for low-income students. While the U.S. saw a decrease in college enrollment among all income brackets between 2008 to 2013, the decrease was even larger for students from low-income families.[i] Among those students who do enroll in college, most do not leave with a degree. While roughly half of students from low-income backgrounds enroll in college, fewer than one-third of those who Continue reading →

Engaging Youth in Evaluation: Why is Youth Participatory Evaluation Critical?

This blog post was written by Ivette Gutierrez of Social Policy Research Associates. Community Participation in Research and Evaluation The American Evaluation Association, in a 2011 Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation[1], urged evaluators “engage with diverse segments of communities to include cultural and contextual dimension important to the evaluation.” Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE) is a key way to achieve this goal because it meaningfully engages youth participants in the design and implementation of an evaluation that considers and reflects their values, identities, and culture. Over Continue reading →

Reflections on SPR’s Approach to Site Visits

This blog post was written by Madeleine Levin and Laura Pryor of Social Policy Research Associates. “Conducting and Using Evaluative Site Visits”, a recent volume of New Directions for Evaluation (Number 156, Winter 2017) provides stimulating reading for evaluators. As SPR staff discussed this volume in our monthly qualitative methods brown bag, we were particularly interested in what our site visit approach could add to the discussion. Reflecting on the articles in this volume helped us articulate additional key features of SPR’s approach to evaluation Continue reading →

Providing Job Search Support for Women Over 50

This blog post was written by Hannah Betesh and Anne Paprocki of Social Policy Research Associates. Over the last decade, older workers have steadily become a larger share of the U.S. workforce, a trend that is expected to continue. At the same time, older workers are more likely than other workers to have difficulty getting re-employed after they lose a job. Compared to men, women are increasing as a percentage of the aging workforce, and they face particular challenges in achieving stable employment, earnings sufficient Continue reading →

A Young Adult Court Based on Young Adult Brains; Early Lessons

This blog post was written by Jennifer Henderson-Frakes of Social Policy Research Associates. The full report was written by Jennifer Henderson-Frakes, Sukey Leshnick, and Hannah Diaz of Social Policy Research Associates.   San Francisco’s Young Adult Court (YAC) is a groundbreaking model for rethinking how the developmental characteristics of transitional age youth (TAY) should inform the criminal justice system’s response to this population. Eligible young adults, ages 18-25, may participate in the YAC program instead of the regular criminal court process with the aim of supporting Continue reading →

Where to find SPR at the NAWB Forum 2018

Join us at the NAWB Forum 2018 where SPR will be looking to advance the conversation on Apprenticeship and the Future of Work in two workshops. The Forum will take place at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. March 24-27, 2018. The Public Workforce System and the Future of Work: Tools for Change Date: Monday, March 26, 2018 Time: 1:15 – 2:30 PM Location:  Columbia 3 (subject to change, check here) Twitter: #PublicSystems4Tomorrow  #FutureOfWork #NAWBForum18 The Future of Work (FOW) is on the minds people Continue reading →

Career Coaching and Student Success

This video and research brief highlight findings from a recent SPR evaluation on how eight Michigan community colleges participating in the Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM), a Round 3 Trade Adjustment Act Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grantee, helped their students navigate enrollment, decide on an appropriate career pathway, explore work-based learning opportunities, and find appropriate job opportunities. The colleges enrolled nearly 4,000 students, many of whom were attending college for the first time. The evaluation found that career coaches played a key role Continue reading →

Boosting the Skills of Older Workers for New Manufacturing Careers

This video and research brief highlight how eight Michigan community colleges participating in the Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM), a round 3 TAACCCT grantee, successfully engaged older adults in advanced manufacturing training and helped them transition to new jobs and careers in that sector. The colleges enrolled over 1200 older students, most of whom were attending college for the first time. Key findings: Older students were more likely to complete their programs and earn a credential than were younger students and only slightly less Continue reading →

Moving Justice-Involved Individuals into Employment

This video and research brief highlights how Macomb Community College and Kellogg Community College, both in Michigan, are moving justice-involved individuals into employment. Highlights and key findings from SPR’s research include: Justice-involved students enrolled in M-CAM completed their programs and earned credentials at a higher rate than the average for students enrolled in the same program. Justice-involved students were less likely to be employed on program entry, but were placed into employment at rates similar to that of other students. If employed at program entry, Continue reading →

Strategies for Closing the Skills Gap

Findings from Two Advanced Manufacturing Community College Career Pathways Training Programs Career pathways programs have the potential to transform the educational and labor market landscape of the manufacturing sector. SPR conducted multiple evaluations of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT)-funded career pathways programs, including the Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM) initiative and the Advanced Manufacturing, Mechatronics, and Quality Consortium (AMMQC) initiative, both of which focused on helping to close the skills gap in manufacturing. Findings across both initiatives suggest close coordination Continue reading →