A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Nebraska 21st Century Community Learning Centers: 2016-2017 Annual Report

Year Published: 2018

A statewide evaluation of Nebraska’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2016-17 school year examined outcomes related to participants’ academic performance, engagement, and behavior. The evaluation found that based on teacher surveys, a majority of students regularly attending the program made improvements in their academic performance, homework completion, participation, behavior, and relationship with their peers. Student and parent surveys also show positive program experiences. 

Program Name: Nebraska 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Program Description:

Nebraska’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 121 centers serving 20,669 students during the 2016-17 school year.  

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Summer, Afterschool

Location: Nebraska

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Program Demographics:

All schools served by Nebraska’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 Nebraska’s 21st CCLC program, 74 percent qualified for the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program and 15 percent were English language learners. Regarding race and ethnicity, the report classified 61 percent of 21st CCLC students in Nebraska as “ethnic minorities.”    

Program Website: https://www.education.ne.gov/21stcclc/

Evaluator: Johnson, J., Skoglund, B., & Smith, A. Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Evaluation Methods:

Data collected included school-day teacher, program staff, student, and parent surveys. Teacher surveys were collected in the spring to document student progress and were analyzed for students attending the program 30 days or more. Student surveys provided feedback on students’ experiences in the program, and surveys of parents with children in the program provided insight into levels of parent engagement.

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes:

During the 2016-17 academic year, students who regularly attended Nebraska’s 21st CCLC programs (attending the program for 30 days or more) saw improvements in homework completion, participation, and behavior. Based on teacher surveys, 65 percent of students improved in their homework completion and participation, 60 percent of students improved their behavior, and 57 percent of students made improvements getting along with their peers. Teachers also reported that a strong majority of students demonstrated moderate to significant gains in math (71 percent), reading (70 percent), science (66 percent), and writing (64 percent).

Comparing students regularly attending the program to non-regular attendees, the average number of school days missed among regular attendees was significantly lower.

Overall, students surveyed reported positive experiences in the program. Among K-2nd grade students, almost all reported that adults in the program treat kids with respect (97 percent), the program helps them learn new things (94 percent), and they enjoy attending the program most of the time (94 percent). Older students gave high scores to program belonging and engagement (3rd-5th graders: 3.57 out of 4, 6th-12th graders: 3.15 out of 4). Students in 6th through 12th grade also had a high academic identity domain at 3.4, which was related to students feeling that, “getting good grades and doing well in school was important.”

Parents’ overall satisfaction rating of the program was high, 3.82 out of 4. For instance, the average score for the statement, “The afterschool program is a benefit to my child” was 3.92 and the average score for the statement, “The afterschool program is a safe place, physically and emotionally,” was 3.86.