Department-funded evaluation (findings for Citizen Schools Expanded Learning Time (ELT))
Meets WWC standards with reservations
because it uses a quasi-experimental design in which the analytic intervention and comparison groups satisfy the baseline equivalence requirement.
This review may not reflect the full body of research evidence for this intervention.
Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.
The i3 evaluation was conducted in 21 middle schools implementing the program in 2015-2016.
Students were in 6th-8th grades. Males were 51.5% of the sample; 48.5% was female.
The intervention in this study was participation in STEM-focused apprenticeships through the Citizen Schools program. The apprenticeship experience is a distinguishing feature of the Citizen Schools Expanded Learning Time (ELT) program model. Citizen Schools offers apprenticeships in such areas as robotics, mock trials, poetry, dance, documentary film-making, understanding math puzzles, learning about college, and many other subjects. The apprenticeships, which are typically co-taught by Citizen Fellows and Citizen Teachers, consist of approximately 10, 90-minute sessions during a semester, that culminate in a showcase called the WOW! during which students “teach back” to friends, family, and community members to illustrate what they learned. Students take four apprenticeships each year, two in the fall and two in the spring semester. They learn about possible apprenticeship topics at the beginning of each semester via an Apprenticeship Fair, where Citizen Teachers present short pitches, and students rank their top choices. Citizen Schools staff then assign students based on a combination of student preference and apprenticeship availability, and they try to match students to their top apprenticeship choices each semester. Citizen Schools also tries to maintain a student-staff ratio in the apprenticeships such that there are 24 or fewer students in each one (with at least two adults, one Teaching Fellow and at least one Citizen Teacher), a number that can flexibly accommodate hands-on learning with adequate adult supervision and support. The Citizen Teachers can use curricula developed and refined by the Citizen Schools Program team to teach their respective apprenticeships (the organization maintains a library organized by broad topic area), and in some cases, they rely upon their own material or materials/syllabi from other sources. (p. 4-5, 2018 report)
The evaluation report notes that the comparison students did not participate in STEM-focused apprenticeships during the test year. (p. 11, 2018 report).
Support for implementation
Citizen Schools staff support and monitor implementation and provide curricula and training materials. Community volunteers also support ELT programming.
The Citizen Teachers can use curricula developed and refined by the Citizen Schools Program team to teach their respective apprenticeships (the organization maintains a library organized by broad topic area), and in some cases, they rely upon their own material or materials/syllabi from other sources.