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ERIC Number: ED480751
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Vulnerable Youth: Identifying Their Need for Alternative Educational Settings.
Zweig, Janine M.
This paper examines the extent to which alternative education can meet the needs of disconnected youth who are at risk of economic and social hardship. It summarizes characteristics of disconnected youth, risk factors associated with disconnection, and characteristics of students in selected alternative education settings. The most common factors used to characterize disconnected youth relate to individual education and employment activity. The paper notes variations in disconnection by race and by state and distinguishes between short- and long-term disconnection. It discusses characteristics related to four areas: school completion and dropping out; teen pregnancy and parenting; involvement in the juvenile justice system; and leaving the foster care system. There are no consistent estimates of the number of youth in alternative education programs or schools, although there are survey data on youth enrolled in alternative education in or through public, private, and Catholic K-12 schools. Overall, mainstream education and public systems are not adequately meeting the needs of all high risk youth. Typical populations of students in alternative schools are dropouts, students with disabilities, and students engaging in health risk behaviors. Having students enrolled in alternative settings provides opportunities to reach out to them, address their needs, and help them reconnect to their education. (Contains 38 references.) (SM)
Urban Institute, 2100 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-261-5687; Fax: 202-293-1918; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Flint, MI.
Authoring Institution: Urban Inst., Washington, DC.