Program

May 31, 2013

OVERVIEW

Early Intervention Program is a skills program for middle school aged students who are behind a grade level, who have low test scores, or high absenteeism. In addition to providing daily skill building class, it also provides counseling. An experimental evaluation of the program found significant impacts in year two and year three for highest grade completed. The program had significant negative impacts on females getting pregnant during the previous year in year two, and ever being employed in year three.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Middle school students who are behind grade level, middle school students with low test scores, or middle school students with high absenteeism.

Early Intervention Program is a daily skill-building class that takes place in regular middle schools with a counseling component.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Dynarski M, Gleason P, Rangarajan A, & Wood R. (1998). Impacts of dropout prevention programs, final report. Washington, D.C.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Evaluated population:  The study sample comprised 616 middle school students who were behind a grade level, had low test scores, or high absenteeism. The study took place in Rockford, Illinois. The average age of the sample was 13 years. Among the treatment group, 44 percent were girls, 44 percent were black, 39 percent were white, and 17 percent had a mother with less than a high school education.

Approach: Students were randomly assigned to the Early Intervention Program (n=393) or to a control group (n=223). Students assigned to the control group were permitted to participate in other educational programs. Students were assessed at baseline as well as approximately 18 months and 30 months later. (The first cohort was followed for three years while the second cohort was followed for two years.) Outcomes were assessed through self report. Students also completed survey questions about student and parent characteristics, including age, race, parent’s educational attainment and employment status, and receipt of public assistance.

Results: No significant impacts were found at year two or three for days absent, English grade, math grade, reading test score, drop out, self-esteem, external locus of control, confidence in completing high school, self-reported grades, being sent to office for doing something wrong, being sent to office because of school work, parents receiving warning about attendance, getting into fight, wanting to graduate from college, wanting to attend graduate school, parents attending school meetings, parents phoning or speaking to teacher or counselor, parents visiting classes, parents attending school event, reading for fun for two or more hours per week, watching TV for two or fewer hours per night, drinking alcohol during the previous month, smoking marijuana during the previous month, using other illegal drugs during the previous month or males getting females pregnant during previous year. Significant positive impacts were found in year two and year three for highest grade completed. The program had significant negative impacts on females getting pregnant during the previous year in year two, and ever being employed in year three.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Program information and curriculum materials unavailable.

References:

Dynarski M, Gleason P, Rangarajan A, & Wood R. (1998). Impacts of dropout prevention programs, final report. Washington, D.C.: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

KEYWORDS: Middle School, adolescents, youth, high school completion/ drop out, employment/earnings, academic achievement/grades, academic motivation/self-concept/expectations/engagement, attendance, counseling/therapy, school-based, skills training, teen pregnancy, reading/literacy, mathematics, self-esteem/self-concept, marijuana/illicit/prescription drugs, alcohol use, aggression, other behavior problems

Program information last updated on 5/31/13

Subscribe to Child Trends

Short weekly updates of recent research on children and youth.