WWC review of this study

Longer-term impacts of mentoring, educational services, and incentives to learn: Evidence from a randomized trial in the United States

Rodriguez-Planas, N. (2010). (Barcelona Economics Working Paper Series). Bellaterra, Spain: Autonomous University of Barcelona.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    1,049
     Students
    , grades
    9-PS

Reviewed: September 2016

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Attainment outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Earned a degree/certificate

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

9 Years

Full sample;
1,047 students

0.06

0.07

No

--
Completing school outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Earned a diploma or GED certificate

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

7 Years

Full sample;
1,049 students

0.78

0.75

No

--
More Outcomes

Earned a high school diploma

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

7 Years

Full sample;
1,049 students

0.60

0.60

No

--
Credit accumulation outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Completed at least 2 years at a 2- or 4-year college

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

9 Years

Full sample;
1,040 students

0.19

0.16

No

--
More Outcomes

Ever attended or currently attending a 2- or 4-year college

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

9 Years

Full sample;
1,047 students

0.38

0.34

No

--

Currently in a 2- or 4-year college

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

9 Years

Full sample;
1,047 students

0.13

0.17

Yes

--
Labor market outcomes outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Total earnings in the past 12 months

Quantum Opportunity Program vs. Business as usual

9 Years

Full sample;
837 students

12676.00

13198.00

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 46%
    Male: 54%
  • Race
    Black
    68%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    26%
    Not Hispanic
    74%

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    District of Columbia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington

Setting

This study took place across several schools in different U.S. cities. Specifically, the following schools participated in the study: Paschal (Fort Worth, TX), Collinwood (Cleveland, OH), Eastern (Washington, D.C.), Anacostia (Washington, D.C.), Yates (Houston, TX), Austin (Houston, TX), Hillcrest (Memphis, TN), Hamilton (Memphis, TN), Carver (Memphis, TN), Franklin (Philadelphia, PA), and Davis (Yakima, WA).

Study sample

52% of the intervention group and 56% of the comparison group were male students. 26% of the intervention group and 26% of the comparison group were Hispanic. 68% of the intervention group and 68% of the comparison group were Black.

Intervention Group

The Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP) is a program that offers intensive and comprehensive services to help at-risk youth (students with low grades who entered high schools with high dropout rates) graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary education or training. The QOP model consisted of four main components: case management and mentoring, education, developmental activities, and community service. Secondary components included financial incentives (stipends, accrual accounts, enrollee bonuses, and staff bonuses) and supportive services (snacks, transportation assistance, and other services as needed such as child care, health and mental health services, and substance abuse treatment). The QOP program began for students in 9th grade and students received services for 5 years. QOP participants were to have 250 hours per year dedicated for activities in three service components - education, developmental activities, and community service (for a total of 750 hours per year until an enrollee graduated from high school).

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition received no QOP services, but could have participated in the usual services offered to high school students in their area.

Support for implementation

Although all sites were encouraged to implement the QOP model, neither the Department of Labor nor the Ford Foundation required sites to implement fully all of the elements of the QOP model.

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.

  • Schirm, A., Stuart, E., & McKie, A. (2006). The Quantum Opportunity Program demonstration: Final impacts. US Department of Education.

 

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