Page 1 of 4
A 2020 evaluation of the Oregon chapter of the Mathematics, Engineering & Science Achievement (MESA) afterschool program found positive impacts on academic achievement and high school graduation. Using a quasi-experimental design, researchers found that MESA students had higher science test scores and were significantly more likely to graduate from high school compared to their matched non-participating peers. Researchers wrote that, “This relationship suggests MESA participation has a tangible and important effect on high school graduation.”
A longitudinal study of voluntary summer learning programs, led by five school districts located in urban communities across the country, followed students from 3rd to 7th grade and found positive academic gains among the randomly assigned students to the program compared to the control group of their nonparticipating peers. After the first and second summer of program participation, program attendees outperformed control-group students. Statistically significant differences were found in math achievement after the first summer, and math, language arts, and social and emotional skills after the second summer. Researchers followed up on program participants three years after the second summer of program participation and found that while academic gains compared to average gains made in a year were no longer statistically significant, they were still large enough to be meaningful.
A statewide evaluation of Iowa’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs found that among students regularly attending a 21st CCLC program and in need of improvement, 72 percent improved in math and 70 percent improved in English. Among regularly attending elementary schoolers identified as not proficient in reading, 25 percent achieved proficiency or higher, and among regularly attending middle and high schoolers not proficient in math, 46 percent achieved proficiency or above. Additionally, teachers reported that 79 percent of regular program participants improved their homework completion and participation in class, and 67 percent improved their behavior.
A statewide evaluation of Massachusetts’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program during the 2017-18 program year found that, based on teacher ratings, program participants made gains in math and reading/English language arts achievement. Teachers and program staff also noted increases in outcomes including students’ critical thinking skills, perseverance, and communication. English language learners, students receiving special education services, and economically disadvantaged students made particularly strong gains for certain outcomes.
A 2019 evaluation by Education Northwest of Alaska’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) afterschool programs found that students who participated more regularly in programs saw greater academic and behavioral gains. Teachers surveyed reported that an overwhelming majority of students attending the program for at least 60 days saw improvements in their academic performance (72 percent), participation in class (71 percent), and ability to persevere through challenges (66 percent), as well as their ability to form positive relationships with adults (70 percent) and work collaboratively with peers (68 percent).
This 2019 evaluation of Washington’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program found that students who consistently attended programs had a higher percentage of credits earned, cumulative GPA, and a lower number of school day absences and disciplinary incidents compared to non-attendees. Additionally, most students reported that it was completely or mostly true that the program helped them improve their academic behavior (81 percent) and self-management skills (77 percent). Students who regularly attended programming for two years had statistically significant higher reading and math test scores, lower school day absences, and a higher percentage of credits earned compared to students who did not attend at these levels. This finding suggests the importance of regular and continued program participation.
A 2019 evaluation of Virginia’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers found that based on teacher-reported outcomes, an overwhelming majority of students improved their academic performance (63 percent), classroom behavior (70 percent), and homework completion and class participation (77 percent). Additionally, students indicated that the programs helped them get better grades, attend class regularly, behave in class, and “prepare for a job or career”. When comparing 21st CCLC students to non-attendees, students receiving special education services in the programs outperformed those not in programs.
A 2019 evaluation of New Mexico’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs by the New Mexico Public Education Department found that the programs had a positive impact on students’ academic achievement. Among the students in the programs, 29 percent raised their grade by a full letter grade by the end of the school year and 49 percent of students who earned below a passing grade raised their grade by the end of the year. Additionally, 66 percent of students who earned a passing grade in the first grading period maintained their grade throughout the year. There was a high level of satisfaction of New Mexico’s 21st CCLC programs, where, 95 percent of students, family, and staff surveyed agreed that the program was of high quality.
A statewide evaluation of Idaho’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs found that, based on state assessment data, students attending a program for at least 30 days (regular attendees) saw improvements in their academic performance. 39.4 percent of regular program participants who had pre-and post-test scores improved from “not proficient” to “meets or exceeds proficiency” on the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) test for K-3rd graders, 13.5 percent improved on the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) English/Language arts test, and 5 percent improved on the ISAT in math. Surveyed parents and students also expressed high satisfaction with 21st CCLC programming. For example, 82 percent of students surveyed agreed that they felt safe in the program and 91 percent of parents surveyed agreed that the 21st CCLC program benefited their child.
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).