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IES Grant

Title: Study of Effects of Accelerated Basic Skills Instruction on Adults' GED Attainment and Enrollment in Postsecondary Education
Center: NCER Year: 2014
Principal Investigator: Alamprese, Judith Awardee: Abt Associates, Inc.
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (7/1/20146/30/2016) Award Amount: $399,910
Type: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Award Number: R305H140108

Co-Principal Investigator: Moore, David

Partner: Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, Oregon

Purpose: In 2006, the state of Oregon established the Oregon Pathways for Adult Basic Skills Transition to Education and Work Initiative (OPABS) in order to help adult learners earn a General Educational Development secondary credential (GED) and transition to credit-bearing postsecondary courses. However, due to the limited available resources in the state, Oregon's Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD) was not able to evaluate the outcomes of OPABS. This grant provided the opportunity for the Abt/CCWD team to carry out initial analyses of OPABS learner outcomes and plan more rigorous future research.

Partnership and Research Activities: The Abt researchers and CCWD partners collaborated over the course of this project. The research occurred in two phases. The first phase was a descriptive study of the adult basic skills (ABS) learners who had participated in reading and math courses developed as part of the OPABS initiative. This study examined the characteristics of the ABS students who participated in OPABS courses and the outcomes of these learners in terms of their development of reading and writing skills, attainment of a General Educational Development (GED®) credential, and participation in postsecondary education. The second phase was a quasi-experimental impact study that examined the skill development, GED® attainment, and postsecondary participation outcomes of OPABS learners compared to matched comparison groups of ABS learners who had not participated in OPABS courses.

Population: The descriptive study of OPABS learners involved a sample of 4,203 learners from 10 ABS programs who had enrolled in at least one OPABS course during program years 2009–2010 to 2013–2014. The impact study participants were ABS learners who had participated in OPABS or non-OPABS courses during ABS program years, 2009–2010 through 2013–2014.

Key Outcomes:

Related Projects: Study of Effects of Transition Planning Process (TPP) on Adult Basic Skills Learners' GED® Attainment and Enrollment in Postsecondary Education (R305L170012)