Building College and Career Pathways for High School Students: Youth CareerConnect, Impact Findings Report

Building College and Career Pathways for High School Students: Youth CareerConnect, Impact Findings Report

Published: Dec 05, 2019
Publisher: Mathematica
Associated Project

Youth CareerConnect Evaluation

Time frame: 2014-2019

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Labor

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy

Chief Evaluation Office


Nan Maxwell

Paul Burkander

Emilyn Whitesell

Erin Dillon

and Hande Inanc

Christian Geckeler

Raquel González

Key Findings
  • The program had a broad reach. The YCC program enrolled 31,019 students in 130 high schools that were located in 18 states and Puerto Rico. Common industries and occupations for the program’s focus included health care and social assistance, architecture and engineering, professional services, and information technology.
  • The program had small, yet statistically significant beneficial impacts on students’ achievement in high school, which suggests it helps students progress toward educational and employment success.
  • Receiving an internship, having a mentor, and completing an individual development plan might have intensified YCC program impacts, although future research should confirm this potential.

In In 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $107 million in four-year grants to 24 applicants for the Youth CareerConnect (YCC) program, a high school–based program that blended academic and career-focused learning to better prepare students for both college and careers in high-growth industries that often rely on foreign workers. The program included employer partnerships and engagement, integrated academic and career curricula, work-based learning and exposure to the world of work, individualized career and academic counseling, small learning communities, and professional development. After four school years of enrolling students, 31,019 students in 130 high schools in 18 states and Puerto Rico had participated in the YCC program. DOL contracted with Mathematica and its subcontractor Social Policy Research Associates to conduct an evaluation of the YCC program that included both an implementation and impact study. This report summarizes findings from the impact study, including the impact of the YCC program on critical milestones and momentum points that can be achieved in high school and are associated with education and employment success.

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