WWC review of this study

Dropout prevention for youth with disabilities: efficacy of a sustained school engagement procedure.

Sinclair, M. F., Christenson, S. L., Evelo, D. L., & Hurley, C. M. (1998). Exceptional Children, 65(1), 7–21. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ573544

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    92
     Students
    , grade
    9
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: September 2017

Progressing in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

9th grade credits

Dropout Prevention vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
92 students

12.13

6.63

Yes

 
 
30

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 71% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Male: 68%
  • Race
    Black
    59%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
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    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
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    • c
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    • y

    Midwest

Setting

The study was conducted in a northern Midwest urban school district in the United States.

Study sample

Most students were African-American (59%); most were males (68%); and most participated in the free or reduced-price lunch program (71%). When they entered the 9th grade, the average age for students was 13. Three quarters had a learning disability and the remainder had an emotional or behavior disorder; a little over 40% had a severe disability.

Intervention Group

Students in the Check & Connect program had their attendance, behavior, and academic performance monitored on a daily basis. Participants were assigned a "monitor"--a graduate student in a related field, a special education teacher or coordinator, or another community member--who functioned as a mentor and case worker and stayed with the student even if he/she transferred to another school within the district. Monitors intervened with the student as soon as an attendance, performance, or behavior problems arose and worked with them to address the underlying problems. The intervention lasted one school year (9th grade).

Comparison Group

Comparison group students received Check & Connect services in 7th and 8th grade. In 9th grade, the year study data collection occurred, these students did not receive the intervention.

Support for implementation

The study does not describe whether implementers (especially monitors) received any specific types of support for implementation.

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: May 2015

Progressing in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Total number of credits accrued

Check & Connect vs. business as usual

9th grade

Grade 9;
92 students

12.13

6.63

Yes

 
 
30
Staying in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Percentage dropped out

Check & Connect vs. business as usual

End of the first year after random assignment

Grade 9;
94 students

9

30

Yes

 
 
31

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 71% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 32%
    Male: 68%
  • Race
    Black
    59%

  • Urban
    • 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
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    • l
    • m
    • n
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    • w
    • y

    Minnesota

Setting

The study was conducted in Minneapolis public high schools.

Study sample

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.

Intervention Group

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

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.

Outcome descriptions

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.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Sinclair, M. F., Christenson, S. L., Lehr, C. A., & Anderson, A. R. (2003). Facilitating student engagement: Lessons learned from Check & Connect longitudinal studies. The California School Psychologist, 8(1), 29–42.

  • Christenson, S. L., Sinclair, M. F., Thurlow, M. L., & Evelo, D. (1999). Promoting student engagement with school using the Check & Connect model. Australian Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 9(1), 169–184.

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: February 2014

Progressing in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Credits

Check & Connect vs. Another intervention

Posttest

Overall;
92 students

12.13

6.63

Yes

 
 
30
Staying in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Enrollment Stauts-In School

Check & Connect vs. Another intervention

Posttest

Overall;
94 students

0.91

0.7

Yes

 
 
31
More Outcomes

Attendance-pattern-Persisted

Check & Connect vs. Another intervention

Posttest

Overall;
94 students

0.85

0.64

Yes

 
 
26

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 71% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 32%
    Male: 68%
  • Race
    Black
    59%

  • Urban
    • 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

    Midwest

Reviewed: October 2011

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Christenson, S. L., Sinclair, M. F., Thurlow, M. L., & Evelo, D. (1999). Promoting student engagement with school using the Check & Connect model. Australian Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 9(1), 169–184.

 

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

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