The study was conducted in Minneapolis public high schools.
Participating students were enrolled in ninth grade during the 1994–95 school year and were
classified with a learning, emotional, or behavioral disability. Learning disabilities were the most
common classification, with 75% of participants having this classification. A little more than
40% of participants were classified as having a severe disability. Most participants were African
American (59%), most were males (68%), and most participated in the free or reduced-price
lunch program (71%). Students were 15-years-old, on average, when they entered ninth grade.
The intervention group received Check & Connect services in the seventh and eighth grades
and, after being assigned to the intervention group, continued to receive the program in ninth
grade. Students had their level of engagement with school (including attendance, academic
performance, and disciplinary actions) recorded on a daily basis by a monitor. This person
worked with the same students across several years, following them to different schools as
needed. Monitors had regular interactions with all students on at least a monthly basis to
discuss their educational progress, the importance of staying in school, and problem solving
strategies. If a monitor observed increased signs of risk, they delivered more intensive
strategies tailored to the student’s needs. In this study, monitors worked 20 hours a week and
maintained an average caseload of 25 students.
Comparison group students received Check & Connect in seventh and eighth grades but,
after assignment to the comparison group, did not continue to receive these services when
they entered high school. Comparison group students attended the same set of high schools
attended by intervention group students.
The two outcomes from this study that are eligible under the WWC Dropout Prevention Protocol,
version 3.0 are (a) the percentage of students who had dropped out at the end of ninth
grade, and (b) the number of credits earned during ninth grade. For a more detailed description
of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Information about implementation of Check & Connect is limited in this study and focuses
primarily on characteristics of the monitors and resources used to deliver the program.