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- Teen pregnancy prevention
- At-risk youth
- Qualitative and quantitative descriptive studies
- Literacy and Numeracy
- Strengthening and Disseminating Research
- Labor: Strengthening and Disseminating Research
- Human Services
Susan Zief has experience in experimental impact evaluations of interventions targeted at at-risk youth, as well as qualitative and quantitative descriptive studies.
Zief has directed notable studies on teen pregnancy prevention. As deputy project director, she oversees site selection for a random assignment impact evaluation of programs to support expectant and parenting teens, funded by the Pregnancy Assistance Fund. She also helps lead an evaluation of the Personal Responsibility Education Program, which provides educational programs for adolescents on teen pregnancy prevention and related topics.
Zief is also experienced in providing technical assistance and oversees development of research and review standards for descriptive qualitative and quantitative studies of the U.S. Department of Education’s Regional Educational Laboratories. An expert in systematic reviews, she also plays a key role on the What Works Clearinghouse by reviewing and synthesizing impact evidence on beginning reading and dropout prevention interventions. She has also reviewed market-based choice plans for high school youth for Department of Education and the impact of after-school programs for the Campbell Collaboration.
Zief, who joined Mathematica in 2005, received her Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Evaluating Selected Programs for Expectant and Parenting Youth
Mathematica is testing the effectiveness of three programs for pregnant and parenting youth designed to delay subsequent pregnancies, improve contraception use, and encourage and promote expectant and parenting females to remain in school and, ultimately, graduate.
Expanding the Use and Understanding of Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
In recent years, researchers have identified dozens of teen pregnancy prevention programs with demonstrated evidence of success in reducing adolescent sexual risk behaviors. The federal government has invested millions of dollars to disseminate knowledge about these programs and to implement and evaluate...
Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)
To help reduce the risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and associated risk behaviors among teenagers, Congress authorized PREP as part of the 2010 ACA. Mathematica's evaluation is documenting how PREP-funded programs are operationalized and assessing selected programs’ effectiveness....
Support for Expectant and Parenting Youth Reaches New Heights in Effectiveness
New research from Mathematica demonstrates that the Washington, DC-based New Heights program offers parenting female high school students a brighter future. The program, as implemented and examined in the DC evaluation, helps these youth stay in school and achieve academic success.
The What Works Clearinghouse: Improving Practice, Research, and Policy
In 2002, the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Institute of Education Sciences (IES) established the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) to collect, review, and report on studies of education interventions. The growing focus on evidence-based decision making increased demand for this type of information. Since...