Preparing High School Students for College and Career: Evidence from Youth CareerConnect
- 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 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $107 million in four-year grants to 24 applicants for the Youth CareerConnect (YCC) program. At its core, the YCC program was designed to strengthen America’s talent pipeline by putting high school students on a pathway to complete postsecondary education, obtain industry-recognized credentials, and secure a job in middle- to high-skilled fields 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. In this brief, we summarize how the YCC program was implemented and the impact it had on students while they were still in high school.