A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

21st Century Community Learning Centers Program: Alabama 2015-2016 Evaluation Report

Year Published: 2017

A statewide evaluation of Alabama’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2015-16 school year examined outcomes related to participants’ academic performance, school engagement, and classroom behavior. The evaluation found that based on grades and teacher surveys, students attending Alabama’s 21st CCLC programs for at least 30 days saw both academic and behavioral improvements. For instance, teachers reported that almost all regularly attending students improved their motivation to learn (96 percent), participation in class (99 percent), attentiveness in class (95 percent), ability to get along with others (97 percent), and classroom behavior (95 percent).  

Program Name: Alabama’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Program Description:

Alabama’s 21st Century Community Learning Center program—which receives federal support through the 21st CCLC initiative—serves high-needs communities across the state, providing local afterschool and summer programming through 74 grantees operating 144 centers across the state and serving 13,289 students during the 2015-16 school year.  

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Summer, Afterschool

Location: Alabama

Community Type: Rural, Urban, Suburban

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Program Demographics:

All schools served by Alabama’s 21st CCLC programs are Title I eligible, meaning more than 40 percent of students qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch. Of students surveyed participating in Alabama’s 21st CCLC program, 46 percent were from low-income families. Regarding race and ethnicity, the report included a table indicating that slightly more than one-third of students were white and more than one-third of students were African-American (See Table 5).  

Program Website: https://www.alsde.edu/sec/fp/Pages/competitivegrants-all.aspx

Evaluator: McIntosh, K., Cannon, A., & Brown, A. Truman Pierce Institute, College of Education at Auburn University.

Evaluation Methods:

Data collected through the EZ Reports data portal included student grades; teacher surveys reporting out on changes in students’ academic performance, attendance, behavior, homework completion, class participation and attentiveness, motivation to learn, and classroom behavior; information on program operations; and parent surveys. Evaluators assessed outcomes for students regularly attending Alabama’s 21st CCLC program—students that attended the program for more than 30 days.  

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes:

During the 2015-16 academic year, among students whose grades in reading and math were reported, 37 percent made improvements in reading from the first to the second grading period and 37 percent made improvements in math. Evaluators highlight that there was also a group of students who were already receiving the highest possible grade in reading (8 percent) and math (8 percent) in both grading periods. Teachers reported that 60 percent of students improved their academic performance, while 25 percent of students did not need to improve. Additionally, teachers reported that approximately half of students regularly participating in the program improved in their ability to “complet[e] homework to the teachers’ satisfaction” (51 percent) and turn in their homework on time (47 percent).  

Based on teacher surveys, almost all students who regularly attended Alabama’s 21st CCLC program improved, maintained, or did not need to improve their motivation to learn (96 percent), participation in class (99 percent), attentiveness in class (95 percent), ability to get along with others (97 percent), and classroom behavior (95 percent). Singling out students that saw improvements in their behavior, 54 percent of students improved their participation in class, 50 percent improved their attentiveness in class, and 49 percent improved their motivation to learn. More than 2 in 5 students improved their classroom behavior (43 percent) and ability to get along with others (41 percent).   

Date Added: November 12, 2018