ERIC Number: ED420735
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
Quantum Opportunities Program. A Brief on the QOP Pilot Program.
Brandeis Univ., Waltham, MA. Center for Human Resources.
The Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP) is an innovative 4-year year-round pilot program that provides learning opportunities, development opportunities, service opportunities, and summer jobs to small groups of youth from families receiving public assistance. In 1994, the Ford Foundation commissioned an evaluation of the QOP. Between 1989 and 1993, 100 disadvantaged minority teenagers joined QOP at 5 different sites, in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Oklahoma City (Oklahoma), Saginaw (Michigan), San Antonio (Texas), and Milwaukee (Wisconsin). QOP differed from most youth job training programs in that it provided youngsters with adult mentors who stayed with them over the 4 years. Compared to a random sample of peers not enrolled in QOP, participants improved their basic skills, and were more likely to graduate from high school, and go on to postsecondary school or college. They were also less likely than their peers to have babies or become unemployed. A major finding from the QOP evaluation is that youth will stick with a program if the adult mentors stick with them. Many factors contributed to the success of QOP, including small groups of participants per site, a community-based, case management approach, and the early age at which the program is initiated, typically 14 or 15. Multiple dimensions, including financial incentives for hourly work, contributed to program success. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that, for every dollar spent, $3.68 is gained in public benefit, assuming that college students finish their educations. QOP shows that something can be done for these disadvantaged students, and that opportunity and community matter. Community-based organizations are able to manage a complex program of this nature, although adequate funding is a necessity. (Contains 10 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Brandeis Univ., Waltham, MA. Center for Human Resources.