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Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities Program

Blueprints Program Rating: Promising

A youth development program providing education, service, and development activities to improve academic skills and increase high school completion and post-secondary attainment of high-risk youth from socioeconomically disadvantaged families and impoverished neighborhoods.

  • Academic Performance
  • Dropout/High School Graduation
  • Post Secondary Education

    Program Type

    • Academic Services
    • After School
    • Community, Other Approaches
    • Mentoring - Tutoring
    • Recreation - Leisure - Community Service
    • Skills Training

    Program Setting

    • Community (e.g., religious, recreation)
    • School

    Continuum of Intervention

    • Selective Prevention (Elevated Risk)

    A youth development program providing education, service, and development activities to improve academic skills and increase high school completion and post-secondary attainment of high-risk youth from socioeconomically disadvantaged families and impoverished neighborhoods.

      Population Demographics

      Disadvantaged youth entering the 9th grade from families receiving public assistance and living within impoverished neighborhoods.

      Age

      • Late Adolescence (15-18) - High School

      Gender

      • Male and Female

      Gender Specific Findings

      • Male
      • Female

      Race/Ethnicity

      • All Race/Ethnicity

      Race/Ethnicity Specific Findings

      • White
      • African American
      • Hispanic or Latino

      Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details

      The beneficial effects of the program on academic achievement, high school graduation, college acceptance, college enrollment, and persistence in college extended to all racial/ethnic (African American and Latino) and gender (boys and girls) subgroups examined.

      • Neighborhood/Community
      • Family
      • School
      • Individual
      Risk Factors
      • Individual: Antisocial/aggressive behavior, Favorable attitudes towards drug use, Gang involvement, Rebelliousness, Substance use, Youth employment
      • Peer: Peer substance use
      • School: Low school commitment and attachment, Poor academic performance, Repeated a grade
      Protective Factors
      • Individual: Clear standards for behavior, Prosocial behavior, Prosocial involvement
      • Family: Attachment to parents
      • School: Rewards for prosocial involvement in school

      See also: Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities Program Logic Model (PDF)

      Eisenhower Quantum is a youth development program, based on the Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP), which is designed to serve disadvantaged adolescents by providing education, service and development activities, and financial incentives over a four-year period, from ninth grade to high school graduation. Each year students are provided with 180 hours of academic support (adult tutoring, peer-assisted tutoring, homework assistance, etc.), 50 hours of service activities (participating in community service projects, civic activities, volunteering, etc.), and 180 hours of development activities (acquiring life/family skills, planning for college and jobs). Services are provided by trained case managers after school and at other community locations as needed. An important component of the program is "deep mentoring", in which mentors develop long-term relationships (over the four years of high school) with students and advocate for them in multiple settings including school, family, peer, and justice system.

      Eisenhower Quantum is a youth development program, based on the Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP), which is designed to serve disadvantaged adolescents by providing education, service and development activities, and financial incentives over a four-year period, from ninth grade to high school graduation. Each year students are provided with 180 hours of academic support (adult tutoring, peer-assisted tutoring, homework assistance, etc.), 50 hours of service activities (participating in community service projects, civic activities, volunteering, etc.), and 180 hours of development activities (acquiring life/family skills, planning for college and jobs). Services are provided by trained case managers after school and at other community locations as needed. An important component of the program is "deep mentoring", in which mentors develop long-term relationships (over the four years of high school) with students and advocate for them in multiple settings including school, family, peer, and justice system.

      The Eisenhower adaptation of Quantum differs in several ways from the original QOP intervention. The “eXtralearning” online tutoring component was replaced with greater hands-on tutoring focused on school assignments and supported, as needed, with technology brought in to help students with homework. The community service component of the earlier intervention was altered to focus more on youth leadership, such as organizing events that promote HIV/AIDS awareness when the participant’s home community is facing an HIV/AIDS epidemic. Finally, the overall time commitment and cost per student per year for the program was dramatically reduced from 750 hours and $18,394 (adjusted for inflation) to 410 hours and $9,456, making the program more feasible for widespread implementation. Specifically, yearly time commitments were reduced from 250 to 180 hours for education, from 250 to 180 hours for life-skills training (including college prep), and from 250 to 50 hours for youth leadership/community service.

      The program is based in the social development model positing that, for successful development, youth need: perceived opportunities for involvement with others and in activities; actual involvement in prosocial activities and interactions; skills to participate in these involvements and interactions; and, reinforcement for these actions.

      • Skill Oriented
      • Social Learning

      Eisenhower Quantum was implemented between 2009 and 2014 across 5 sites in the U.S. and evaluated by Curtis et al. (2015, 2016). The randomized controlled trial followed 300 at-risk 9th grade students (N= 60 per site) over all 4 years of high school and focused on assessing the program’s impact on 5 measures of academic success (four at posttest and one at 1-year post intervention): high school GPA, on-time high school graduation, college acceptance, college enrollment, and persistence in college for one academic year.

      The intervention improved high school senior-year GPA, high school graduation rates, college acceptance rates, college enrollment rates, and rates of persistence in college for one academic year, compared to controls, with the impacts holding across sites and for all racial/ethnic and gender subgroups.

      Compared to controls, Eisenhower Quantum significantly increased:

      • high school senior-year GPA.
      • on-time high school graduation.
      • college acceptance.
      • college enrollment.
      • persistence in college (at least one academic year).

      The program impacts generally held for all racial/ethnic and gender subgroups and across all sites.

      No risk or protective factors were measured.

      No mediation analysis conducted.

      The study reported moderate to large effect sizes on the GPA measure, ranging from d= 0.44 to d= 0.90, but did not report standardized effect sizes for the other outcomes.

      The results are widely generalizable given that impacts held across several schools and cities in the U.S.

      • Did not collect or test for differences in outcome measures at baseline.
      • Tests of inter-school differences did not adjust for clustering in schools.

      The program was based on a similar program that has mixed evidence of its effectiveness, the Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP).

      • Blueprints: Promising
      • Crime Solutions: Effective
      • OJJDP Model Programs: Effective

      Emmett Folgert
      Dorchester Youth Collaborative
      1514-A Dorchester Avenue
      Dorchester, MA 02122
      617-288-1748 (office)
      mrosario@northstarlc.org

      Maria Rosario
      Executive Director
      Northstar Learning Centers
      53 Linden Street
      New Bedford, MA 02740
      508-991-5907 (office)
      mrosario@northstarlc.org

      Curtis, A., & Bandy, T. (2015). The Quantum Opportunities Program: A randomized control evaluation. Washington, D.C.: The Eisenhower Foundation.

      Curtis, A., & Bandy, T. (2016). The Quantum Opportunities Program: A randomized control evaluation, 2nd edition. Washington, D.C.: The Eisenhower Foundation.

      Dr. Alan Curtis
      President and Chief Executive Officer
      The Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation
      1875 Connecticut Ave NW #410
      Washington, DC 20009
      Phone: (202) 234-8104
      www.eisenhowerfoundation.org

      Study 1

      Curtis, A., & Bandy, T. (2015). The Quantum Opportunities Program: A randomized control evaluation. Washington, D.C.: The Eisenhower Foundation.

      Curtis, A., & Bandy, T. (2016). The Quantum Opportunities Program: A randomized control evaluation, 2nd edition.. Washington, D.C.: The Eisenhower Foundation.

      Curtis, A., & Bandy, T. (2015). The Quantum Opportunities Program: A randomized control evaluation. Washington, D.C.: The Eisenhower Foundation.

      Curtis, A., & Bandy, T. (2016). The Quantum Opportunities Program: A randomized control evaluation, 2nd edition. Washington, D.C.: The Eisenhower Foundation.

      Design

      Recruitment/ Assignment: Youth entering 9th grade and identified as at-risk for academic failure (as determined by belonging to a racial/ethnic minority group, having low socio-economic status, living in a single parent home, changing schools at non-traditional times, earning below-average grades in middle school, or being held back in school) were recruited from 5 different cities (Albuquerque, Baltimore, Boston, Milwaukee, and New Bedford) to participate in the study. Initially, 80 incoming students at each site were eligible, with the first 60 consenting students being entered into the study for a total of 300 participating youth. Participants were then randomized to the Quantum treatment group (n= 151) or to serve as controls (n= 149) for the 4-year evaluation.

      Assessment: All measures came from administrative and academic data collected by the high schools at posttest only. There was no attrition.

      Sample

      At baseline, participating students averaged 15.9 years of age. Half of the sample was female and 77% identified as either African American or Latino. Most were from families with low socioeconomic status—over half lived with a single mother and 83% received free or reduced-price lunch—and many (31%) had parents who did not complete high school.

      Measures

      Outcomes were assessed at posttest only, using administrative and academic records.

      Academic Achievement was operationalized as the student’s senior-year mean grade point average (GPA), and came from school report cards.

      On-Time High School Graduation was defined as the student having received an official academic diploma at the end of the senior year. Those who obtained a GED were not counted as graduating from high school.

      College Acceptance was obtained from official post-secondary school communications or commencement book notifications that the student had been accepted to a post-secondary institution.

      College Enrollment was measured by calculating the number of youth who enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year academic institution (between 2013-2015), as documented on the National Student Clearinghouse website.

      College Persistence was measured by calculating the number of youth who persisted in college at least 1 academic year, as documented on the National Student Clearinghouse website.

      Analysis

      Chi-square tests were used to determine if there were group differences across the academic outcome measures. Analyses were performed for the average treatment effect across schools, with subsequent tests examining the program impacts within schools. The across-school tests did not adjust for clustering of students within schools, and because no baseline outcome measures were collected there was no adjustment for pretest academic achievement. Subgroup analyses used the same analytic strategy and assessed whether program impacts held for African Americans, Latino/as, and for boys and girls.

      The study adhered to the principles of intent-to-treat, with all participants remaining in their original condition and retained for the duration of the 4-year evaluation.

      Outcomes

      Implementation Fidelity: The study states that “The Eisenhower Foundation and the local directors concluded that each of the model’s components was in fact implemented as intended,” suggesting good fidelity. However, the average amount of time students engaged in the program per year (291 hours) was less than recommended (410 hours), with the greatest disparity between attendance and expectations in the category of life skills training.

      Baseline Equivalence: While there were no significant group differences for sociodemographic characteristics, the evaluation did not examine whether pretest academic performance (such as middle school GPA) varied across conditions.

      Differential Attrition: All participants were retained for the duration of the study.

      Posttest: At posttest, the pooled (across sites) treatment group improved 4 of 4 outcomes, demonstrating significantly better academic performance, higher rates of high school graduation, and a higher proportion of students accepted to college and enrolled in college than the control group. Improvements held up within sites, as well, except for the effect on GPA at the Albuquerque site, where the difference was not significant.

      1-Year Post Intervention: At one year post high school, the pooled (across sites) treatment group demonstrated significantly higher rates of persistence in college than the control group. This was true for all sites, except Boston where the difference between treatment and control groups was not significant.

      Tests for subgroup differences generally revealed that the program group outperformed controls on all outcomes and for all gender and racial/ethnic subgroups.

      Video

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj5cO9FelWo