ERIC Number: ED381631
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Steps to Success: Literacy Development in a Welfare-to-Work Program. Final Report.
Reder, Stephen; Wikelund, Karen Reed
A research project investigated long-term literacy development and its economic impact among clients of a welfare-to-work program. A follow-up study was conducted with a sample of 920 former clients of Steps to Success's educational track, which consisted of a career and life planning course followed by adult literacy education. From the sample, 229 agreed to participate and 163 actually completed a basic skills test and a questionnaire about their post-program activities. These participants had started the program and taken an initial basic skills test 1-3 years earlier. Data came from several sources: standardized tests of literacy skills; questionnaire data about post-program education, training, and employment activities and client perceptions of program impact and quality;"hard" data about clients' subsequent employment, earnings, and welfare dependence; and qualitative data from program staff and a cohort of clients followed closely over several years. Results indicated that clients raised their literacy scores substantially. These assessed skill gains were larger than those typically reported by adult education programs and represented sustained learning gains. Strong indications were that clients' assessed literacy gains were significantly associated with reductions in their future dependence on public assistance. Data analysis identified three principal factors underlying clients' outcomes and perceptions: employment, personal growth, and educational development. (Appendixes contain a list of 47 references and the questionnaire.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. for Literacy, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.