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ERIC Number: ED514652
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 119
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
Making the Transition: Interim Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation
Millenky, Megan; Bloom, Dan; Dillon, Colleen
Young people who drop out of high school face long odds of success in a labor market that increasingly values education and skills. This report presents interim results from a rigorous, ongoing evaluation of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, which aims to "reclaim the lives of at-risk youth" who have dropped out of high school. ChalleNGe is an intensive residential program that currently operates in more than half the states. More than 90,000 young people have completed the program since it was launched in the early 1990s. MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, is conducting the evaluation in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood. Several private foundations and the U.S. Department of Defense are funding the evaluation. The 17-month ChalleNGe program is divided into three phases: Pre-ChalleNGe, a demanding two- week orientation and assessment period; a 20-week Residential Phase built around eight core components designed to promote positive youth development; and a one-year Postresidential Phase featuring a structured mentoring program. During the first two phases, participants live at the program site, often on a military base. The environment is "quasi-military," though there are no requirements for military service. The evaluation uses a random assignment design. Because there were more qualified applicants than slots, a lottery-like process was used to decide which applicants were admitted to the program. The young people who were admitted (the program group) are being compared over time with those who were not admitted (the control group); any significant differences that emerge between the groups can be attributed to ChalleNGe. About 3,000 young people entered the study in 10 ChalleNGe programs in 2005-2006. Key findings from the survey include: (1) The program group was much more likely than the control group to have obtained a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate (GED) and to have earned college credits; (2) At the time of the survey, program group members were somewhat more likely to be engaged in productive activities; (3) Young people in the two groups were equally likely to have been arrested in the year prior to the survey, but the program group was less likely to have been convicted of a crime or to have engaged in certain delinquent acts; and (4) There were few differences between groups in measures of physical or mental health. These interim results are impressive, but longer-term follow-up will be critical to understanding the full story of the program's effects. Results from a 36-month survey should be available by late 2010. Appendices include: (1) Analysis of Survey Response Bias; (2) Supplementary Tables on Delinquency and Criminal Activity; (3) Supplementary Tables Analyses on Life-Coping, Leadership, and Group Skills; (4) Items and Factor Loadings for Civic Engagement Scales; and (5) Supplementary Subgroup Tables. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 40 tables, 1 figure, and 3 boxes.) [For the executive summary, see ED514661.]
MDRC. 16 East 34th Street 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016-4326. Tel: 212-532-3200; Fax: 212-684-0832; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: US Department of Defense; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Edna McConnell Clark Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; MCJ Foundation
Authoring Institution: MDRC
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
IES Cited: ED512004