A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

21st Century Community Learning Centers 2017-2018 Program Year Statewide Evaluation (Colorado)

Year Published: 2019

A statewide evaluation of Colorado’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2017-18 school year found positive gains related to student participants’ academic performance, engagement in school, and school-day behavior. Teachers reported that among students regularly attending the program and who were in need of improvement, a strong majority improved their academic performance (71 percent), class participation (68 percent), motivation to learn (67 percent), relationships with peers (63 percent), classroom attentiveness (62 percent), homework completion (55 percent), and behavior in class (54 percent). Subgrantees were also surveyed and reported progress in meeting or exceeding their performance measure in enrichment (57 percent), STEM (61 percent), health and wellness (53 percent), and attendance (60 percent). 

Program Name: Colorado 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Program Description:

Colorado’s 21st Century Community Learning Center program—which receives federal support through the 21st CCLC initiative—serves high-needs communities across the state, with 22 subgrantees providing local afterschool and summer programming through 44 centers serving 3,489 students in the summer, 6,517 students in the fall, and 7,030 in the spring during the 2017-18 school year. 

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Afterschool

Location: Colorado

Community Type: Rural, Urban, Suburban

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Program Demographics:

All schools served by Colorado’s 21st CCLC programs are Title I eligible, meaning more than 40 percent of students qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch. Data on student demographics varied by term (summer, fall, spring). Throughout the 2017-2018 program year, a range of 46 percent to 55 percent of students qualified for Free and Reduced Price Lunch, 15 percent to 27 percent of students had limited English proficiency, and 7 percent to 9 percent of students had special needs. Of those participating in Colorado’s 21st CCLC program, a range of 53-59 percent of students identified as Hispanic/Latino, 17-22 percent as White, 8-10 percent as Black or African American, 2-3 percent as Asian, 1-2 percent as American Indian or Native Alaskan, 0-2 percent as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 3-12 percent as unknown, and 3-4 percent as two or more races,.

Program Website: https://www.cde.state.co.us/21stcclc/

Evaluator: Catherine Roller White Consulting

Evaluation Methods:

This evaluation collected monthly data, such as student attendance, program activities provided, and staffing, which was entered by subgrantees into 21 APR, the federal reporting system used by the Colorado Department of Education. Teacher and program director surveys were also administered at the end of the program year to collect information on student progress among students attending a program for 30 days or more from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. 

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes:

Evaluation of Colorado’s 21st CCLC programs found positive gains in academics, homework completion, school engagement, and behavior among students regularly attending the program. During the 2017-18 academic year, among students who attended the 21st CCLC program for 30 days or more (regular attendees) and were in need of improvement in the following areas, teachers reported that 71 percent improved their academic performance and 62 percent improved paying attention in class. Additionally, more than half improved completing homework to their teacher’s satisfaction (55 percent) and turning in homework on time (53 percent), and nearly half of students improved their regular classroom attendance (46 percent).

When looking at outcomes related to behavior, teachers reported that among regularly attending students who were in need of improvement in the following areas, strong majorities of students made improvements in participating in class (68 percent), coming to school motivated to learn (67 percent), getting along with their peers (63 percent), and more than half improved their classroom behavior (54 percent) and volunteering for class related activities such as extra credit or additional responsibilities (54 percent).  

In an end-of-year survey, subgrantees reported on their effort to promote family-school partnerships and parent engagement. Practices that subgrantees said they frequently engaged in included welcoming all families (64 percent), engaging in effective communication (55 percent), speaking up for every child (41 percent), and collaborating with community (41 percent). Subgrantees also rated their progress on performance measures using a four-point scale (no progress, making process, met goal, or exceeded goal). More than half of subgrantees reported meeting or exceeding their performance measure in enrichment (57 percent), STEM (61 percent), health and wellness (53 percent), and attendance (60 percent). Numerous subgrantees cited factors such as incorporating feedback from students, offering a variety of engaging activities, and providing staff professional development as helpful in making progress in performance measures.  

Date Added: August 28, 2019