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Day Three: Impact of Adult Basic Skills Program Participation -- Patterns of Participation

Dear Steve and Colleagues:

Steve, in the webinar you mentioned participation at varying levels of intensity (any participation, 25 or more hours, 75 or more hours, 100 or more hours) and the impact on earnings:

  • Only when participation involves 100 or more hours of attendance does it have a significant and substantial impact on future earnings
  • Concentrated hours have a larger impact on earnings than hours distributed over years

I have a few questions regarding that: 

  • What percentage of program participants reached that 100+ hour mark?  Is there anything you can tell us about that group?
  • I think you said that most of the participation was concentrated within the first few years of the study, but I may not have that right.
  • Did you find similar hours of participation for GED attainment and postsecondary engagement.  That is, did participants need to reach the 100+ hour to reach those goals?

And, we have a related question from Dolores Perin that came during the webinar that I want to include here:

Dolores Perin: Would you be able to say what the control variables were in measuring impact of program participation on GED attainment - do you think program participation itself was key, or was there some underlying variable such as motivation that led to both program participation and GED attainment.

Cynthia Zafft

 

 

Comments

Cynthia Zafft's picture
One hundred

Hi Colleagues:

Some technical difficulties today.  Here is Steve's response to my questions:

My questions:

  • What percentage of program participants reached that 100+ hour mark?  Is there anything you can tell us about that group?
  • I think you said that most of the participation was concentrated within the first few years of the study, but I may not have that right.
  • Did you find similar hours of participation for GED attainment and postsecondary engagement.  That is, did participants need to reach the 100+ hour to reach those goals?

Steve's Reply:

Good questions, thanks.  42% of the population that participated at all reached the 100+ hour mark over time.  It's hard to distinguish that group from those who participate less from their background characteristics.  Future persistence research could usefully look at that. This is accumulated over time across the years of the study, not all within a single year in many cases. You can see the timeline of cumulative participation over time in the graphs (Figure 1) in the Briefs.  There is somewhat more participation in early years than in later years of the study.   We found an average of 100+ hours as a critical threshold for significant program impact on both income and literacy proficiency.  That was not so much the case for the outcomes of GED attainment and postsecondary engagement which were significantly impacted by fewer hours of ABS attendance.
 
 
Cynthia Zafft's picture
One hundred

Question from Dolores Perin that came during the webinar:

Would you be able to say what the control variables were in measuring impact of program participation on GED attainment - do you think program participation itself was key, or was there some underlying variable such as motivation that led to both program participation and GED attainment.

Steve's reply: In addition to demographic variables, the effects of goals (i.e., did individuals indicate at the beginning of the study that they had GED attainment as a goal) and preparation methods (program participation and self-study) were examined and found to influence GED attainment.  For all groups examined, there was a significant impact of program participation on GED attainment (details are presented in Brief 3).  Brief 3 suggested that for GED attainment, the effects of programs on goal-setting need to be distinguished from the effects of programs on goal attainment, a topic worthy of further research.  

Dolores Perin's picture
Ten

Thanks for this information.

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