Engaging Disconnected Young People in Education and Work



tinue only if they actively participated in education activities. The Project Rise evaluation is an

implementation study that addresses three primary sets of questions:

• Within the overall population of disconnected young adults, what were

the characteristics of the participants who entered Project Rise, and what

drew them to the program? Since Project Rise was intended to focus on a

particular segment of the disconnected young adult population, key research

questions include: What were the local providers’ experiences in conducting a

recruitment and selection process using specific criteria? Did the local providers

actually attract especially hard-to-serve young people? What participant

characteristics and experiences presented particular challenges to reconnecting

them to education and the workforce? Why did participants want to enter

Project Rise, and what influence did these reasons have on their program experiences?

• How did the different providers implement the program model, and

what adjustments did they make over time? The Project Rise program

model incorporated elements that research and previous program operating

experience suggested would be beneficial, but it gave local providers some

leeway to adapt the model, subject to CEO’s approval. Questions thus include:

How did the designers of Project Rise initially envision that specific

program components would help reconnect participants with productive activities?

What operational challenges did providers encounter during implementation?

How and why did providers adapt the program model, including adjustments

that they made over time as they gained operating experience? How

would providers adapt the model if they were no longer subject to any restrictions

as part of the CEO SIF demonstration?

• What were the duration and intensity of participants’ engagement in the

program, and what outcomes did participants achieve during the 12-

month program period? A main concern in many programs similar to Project

Rise is whether young people who are disconnected from school, work,

and other productive activities can sustain program participation. Questions

thus include: For how long and with what intensity were Project Rise participants

engaged in specific program components? At what point and why did

participants drop out of the program? To what extent did participants earn a

high school equivalency certificate or high school diploma, or reach the ultimate

goals of unsubsidized employment or postsecondary education within

the 12-month program period? Did participation levels and outcomes vary


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