Raising the Bar: Impacts and Implementation of the New Heights Program for Expectant and Parenting Teens in Washington, DC

Office of Adolescent Health Evaluation Report
Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health
Apr 24, 2017
Subuhi Asheer, Paul Burkander, John Deke, Julie Worthington, and Susan Zief

Key Findings:

  • The expansion of New Heights led to significantly better outcomes among parenting females on measures of school engagement and credit accumulation. We also saw a marginally significant impact on graduation rates. 
  • Nearly three-quarters of the parenting females in the study schools attended New Heights, meaning the program succeeded in recruiting most of the parenting females in the schools. After adjusting the impacts for the proportion of the sample who attended the program (75 percent), the magnitude of the impacts increases by about 1.33.
  • The New Heights program also produced substantively important impacts by nearly eliminating the gap in credits earned between parenting and nonparenting females, and cutting the gap in the semester graduation rate in half.
  • School-based program coordinators “do what it takes” to create a supportive and secure experience for students. Coordinators have the autonomy to implement and integrate the core program components as necessary in their school to support student engagement and progress.
This report shares the findings from an impact and implementation study of New Heights, a DC Public Schools program that provides a multi-faceted approach for supporting parenting students’ educational attainment. This report demonstrates how the program made a significant impact on academic outcomes, such as school engagement and credit accumulation, and a marginal impact on a more distal outcome of graduation. The report provides an in-depth description of the program model, and presents student and staff perceptions of its success.

Evaluating Selected Programs for Expectant and Parenting Youth


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health

Time Frame


Senior Staff

Subuhi Asheer
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Julie W. Hartnack
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John Deke
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Susan Zief
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