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ERIC Number: ED497631
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 104
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
Upward Bound Math-Science: Program Description and Interim Impact Estimates
Olsen, Robert; Seftor, Neil; Silva, Tim; Myers, David; DesRoches, David; Young, Julie
US Department of Education
To help address continuing disparities in academic achievement and under-representation of disadvantaged groups in math and science majors and careers, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) established a math and science initiative in 1990 within Upward Bound, a federal grant program known as Upward Bound Math-Science (UBMS) designed to provide disadvantaged high school students with skills and experiences that will prepare them for college success. This report constitutes the first of two evaluation reports on UBMS, and it is based on participant surveys and student transcripts collected for this sample between 1998 and 1999 and between 2001 and 2002. The evaluation of UBMS has two components: a descriptive analysis and an impact analysis. The descriptive analysis relies primarily on a survey of project directors to describe the resources available to UBMS projects; the types of institutions that host them; the credentials and demographic characteristics of project staff; recruitment, eligibility, and enrollment of students; student characteristics; and program offerings. The impact analysis is designed to measure the effects of UBMS on: (1) performance in high school, especially in math and science courses; (2) postsecondary attendance, persistence and completion; and (3) the likelihood of completing a postsecondary degree in mathematics or a scientific field. The impact analysis is based on a comparison of UBMS participants with a sample of students that: (1) applied to enroll in regular Upward Bound programs in the early 1990s; (2) never participated in UBMS; and (3) have been tracked by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) as part of the national evaluation. This comparison group was selected to ensure that it had similar characteristics to the sample of UBMS participants, and controlled statistically for the small remaining differences in these characteristics between UBMS participants and the comparison group. The descriptive analysis found that UBMS projects: (1) Provide a large quantity of academic instruction; (2) Are most active during the summers; (3) Provide academic enrichment in math and science subjects and (4) Provide instruction through a combination of single-subject courses and interdisciplinary instruction. Major findings of the impact analysis for UBMS include: (1) Improved high school grades in math and science and overall; (2) Increased likelihood of taking chemistry and physics in high school; (3) Increased likelihood of enrolling in more selective four-year institutions; (4) Increased likelihood of majoring in math and science; and (5) Increased likelihood of completing a four-year degree in math and science. Separate impact estimates were computed for subgroups defined by sex, race and ethnicity, and prior participation in regular Upward Bound. Statistically significant differences in subgroup impacts were identified for certain outcomes, although the number of these differences was relatively small, and there was no obvious pattern to the findings suggesting that particular groups benefited more from UBMS than other groups. Therefore, it is not clear whether the significant subgroup differences are due to chance or to systematic differences in the effects of UBMS on different groups of participants. The following are appended: (1) Data Collection; (2) Program Impacts; (3) Sensitivity of Impacts to an Alternative Measure of Postsecondary Attendance; and (4) Sample Sizes and Standard Errors. (Contains 53 footnotes, 19 exhibits, and 34 tables.) [This report was prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. for Policy and Program Studies Service, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, US Department of Education.]
US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 301-470-1244; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education, Washington, DC.; Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ.
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does Not Meet Evidence Standards
IES Cited: ED506465