WWC review of this study

Impact Evaluation of "12 for Life": Better Lives through Education and Employment

Dowell, Kathleen; Stevenson, Olivia (2018). Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED584161

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
    , grades

Reviewed: December 2021

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Secondary school academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

High school grade point average (GPA)

12 for Life vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
400 students





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.

  • Rural, Suburban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y



The study was implemented at rural and suburban high schools in the Carroll County and Haralson County school districts, Georgia. Students in the intervention group had daily access to learning activities in the 12 for Life manufacturing facility. All treatment students were enrolled in Carroll County schools and comparison students were enrolled in both Carrol and Haralson County schools. Carroll County Schools has a history of low graduation rates (67.5%), high dropout rates (4.8%), and a high percentage of students who are economically disadvantaged (61%).

Study sample

All students served were economically disadvantaged, according to a researcher-developed rubric defining financial need. 50% of the high school students in the sample were supporting themselves, responsible for costs of food and shelter with little or no support from parents or guardians.

Intervention Group

The i3-funded intervention, 12 for Life, was developed in conjunction with Carroll County School District as a new approach to applied, work-based learning. The 12 for Life program is designed to provide very high-need students with a unique opportunity to hold paid apprenticeships while continuing their education, featuring both a STEM-focused secondary school program and a student-staffed Southwire satellite plant. 12 for Life’s classes and apprenticeships feature low teacher-student (1:10) and supervisor-student (1:12) ratios. The 12 for Life program aims to improve students’ academic performance, behavior, and retention.

Comparison Group

Comparison group students received business as usual academic instruction and student support services provided by the high schools they attended. Students were likely exposed to instruction and support services as they had been in the past.

Support for implementation

Teachers in the 12 for Life intervention received several elements of support, including access to professional development, professional learning communities, STEM conferences, on-site and online trainings, and access to an engineering maintenance program for classroom technology. Teachers also received curriculum and replication guides and access to a STEM curriculum development specialist.


Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

back to top