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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Abdi, Fadumo; Lantos, Hannah
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi and Hannah Lantos, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Disconnected youth are broadly defined as individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. Some, including those that are more likely to be chronically disconnected, may face additional challenges as a result of complicated risk factors such as poor mental...

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi and Hannah Lantos, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Disconnected youth are broadly defined as individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. Some, including those that are more likely to be chronically disconnected, may face additional challenges as a result of complicated risk factors such as poor mental health, a history of involvement with the juvenile justice system or familial incarceration, being a member of a minority group, low academic achievement, or family poverty. The combination of these factors create barriers for youth to connect to education or, without education credentials, find employment, which further impedes their path to a self-sufficient adulthood.

    It is currently estimated that there are between 5.5 and 6.7 million youth who are neither working nor in school. This represents approximately 15 to 17 percent of the American youth population. Minorities, particularly minority males, are overrepresented among disconnected youth. Currently, the policy and practice literature doesn’t provide a universal definition of disconnected youth that is inclusive of the diverse population making estimations of the numbers of youth impacted by disconnection difficult. Youth who belong to other groups such as the LGBTQ population, youth who are aging out of foster care or have left the system, and youth who have been engaged with the juvenile justice system. Youth who are a part of these groups are vulnerable, at-risk for, or already disconnected and are more likely to experience more complex obstacles when transitioning towards self-sufficiency.

    Traditional indicators of a successful transition to adulthood have included career development, marriage, and parenthood. In the past three decades, these indicators of transition to adulthood have changed over time. Youth have shifted from early participation in the workforce to prolonged enrollment in higher education. Changes in the labor market, such as increased labor-saving technology, and the increasing prevalence of jobs that require a higher level skill set have made it difficult for youth to reach their long term career goals without higher education. The Great Recession of 2007 resulted in widespread increases in unemployment that was more severe for vulnerable populations including youth. Due to these social and workforce shifts, disconnected youth have found it more difficult to achieve self-sufficiency in the face of high unemployment.

    There are a number of initiatives underway that aim to help disconnected youth make a successful transition to adulthood. These programs take into account both the highly complex needs of disconnected youth and their importance to the economy. Intervention and prevention programs aimed at connecting youth to opportunity take four forms: (1) workforce development and skill building programs, (2) behavioral programs that work to prevent disconnection, (3) comprehensive programs which address social support needs and job training, and (4) early prevention programs that aim to re-engage adolescents who have dropped out of school or are at-risk of early drop out by providing counseling, helping to develop social and cognitive skills, and providing academic support services.

    Workforce development programs may vary depending on their target population and the specific outcomes to be achieved but typically includes career development opportunities for high schools students, combine education with vocational training, or target older youth with a greater focus on skills development. There is also a growing recognition that behavioral and mental health issues should be addressed alongside skill building and higher education attainment in order for disconnected youth to be successful long-term. In addition, employers and workforce programs have come to realize the importance of soft skills development, such as communication skills, conflict resolution, and self-regulation, for youth entering the workforce.

    Despite the broad scope of youth disconnection, researchers and practitioners have used common characteristics to describe this population, such as age, educational attainment, length of unemployment, or the socio-economic costs of youth disconnection to identify key factors that may alleviate challenges associated with the highly complex nature of youth disconnection. More evidence on youth disconnection is available now than at any other time in our history which helps to facilitate greater understanding of the challenges disconnected youth face, the extent of youth disconnection locally and nationally, and ultimately the development of better strategies to serve them.

    The SSRC library contains numerous resources and evaluations related to disconnected youth, including:

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to the SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more.

  • Individual Author: Gardiner, Karen; Rolston, Howard; Fein, David; Cho, Sung-Woo
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Pathways to Healthcare program, operated by Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Pathways to Healthcare is one promising effort to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

    The Pathways to Healthcare program consists of five elements:

    1.the mapping of 16 existing healthcare occupational training programs into five pathways, each incorporating a ladder that enables students to obtain stackable credentials;

    2.proactive advising such as career counseling;

    3.scholarships for tuition and books;

    4.two compressed basic skills programs that in one semester remediate students whose low skills prevented them from enrolling directly in training; and

    5.job search assistance.

    Using a rigorous...

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Pathways to Healthcare program, operated by Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Pathways to Healthcare is one promising effort to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

    The Pathways to Healthcare program consists of five elements:

    1.the mapping of 16 existing healthcare occupational training programs into five pathways, each incorporating a ladder that enables students to obtain stackable credentials;

    2.proactive advising such as career counseling;

    3.scholarships for tuition and books;

    4.two compressed basic skills programs that in one semester remediate students whose low skills prevented them from enrolling directly in training; and

    5.job search assistance.

    Using a rigorous research design, the study found that Pathways to Healthcare increased the hours of occupational training and the credentials its participants received within the 18-month follow-up period. Future reports will examine whether these effects translate into gains in employment and earnings. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Martinson, Karin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Bridge to Employment in the Healthcare Industry program, designed by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and operated by three community-based organizations in San Diego County, California. Bridge to Employment is one promising effort to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Bridge to Employment program consisted of five components: (1) Assessments to determine eligibility for training programs; (2) Navigation and case management services to help students choose their training and address barriers to participation; (3) Individual training account (ITA) vouchers to cover the cost of training; (4) Supportive services for transportation, child care, and other services; and (5) Employment services to help participants find employment...

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Bridge to Employment in the Healthcare Industry program, designed by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and operated by three community-based organizations in San Diego County, California. Bridge to Employment is one promising effort to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. It is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Bridge to Employment program consisted of five components: (1) Assessments to determine eligibility for training programs; (2) Navigation and case management services to help students choose their training and address barriers to participation; (3) Individual training account (ITA) vouchers to cover the cost of training; (4) Supportive services for transportation, child care, and other services; and (5) Employment services to help participants find employment after training. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that Bridge to Employment increased the credentials its participants received and increased employment in a healthcare occupation within the 18-month follow-up period. Future reports will examine whether these effects translate into economic gains in the workplace in the longer term. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rosenbaum, James E.; Ahearn, Caitlin E.; Rosenbaum, Janet E.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2017

    College-for-all has become the new American dream. Most high school students today express a desire to attend college, and 90% of on-time high school graduates enroll in higher education in the eight years following high school. Yet, degree completion rates remain low for non-traditional students—students who are older, low-income, or have poor academic achievement—even at community colleges that endeavor to serve them. What can colleges do to reduce dropouts? In Bridging the Gaps, education scholars James Rosenbaum, Caitlin Ahearn, and Janet Rosenbaum argue that when institutions focus only on bachelor’s degrees and traditional college procedures, they ignore other pathways to educational and career success. Using multiple longitudinal studies, the authors evaluate the shortcomings and successes of community colleges and investigate how these institutions can promote alternatives to BAs and traditional college procedures to increase graduation rates and improve job payoffs.

    The authors find that sub-baccalaureate credentials—associate degrees and college certificates—can...

    College-for-all has become the new American dream. Most high school students today express a desire to attend college, and 90% of on-time high school graduates enroll in higher education in the eight years following high school. Yet, degree completion rates remain low for non-traditional students—students who are older, low-income, or have poor academic achievement—even at community colleges that endeavor to serve them. What can colleges do to reduce dropouts? In Bridging the Gaps, education scholars James Rosenbaum, Caitlin Ahearn, and Janet Rosenbaum argue that when institutions focus only on bachelor’s degrees and traditional college procedures, they ignore other pathways to educational and career success. Using multiple longitudinal studies, the authors evaluate the shortcomings and successes of community colleges and investigate how these institutions can promote alternatives to BAs and traditional college procedures to increase graduation rates and improve job payoffs.

    The authors find that sub-baccalaureate credentials—associate degrees and college certificates—can improve employment outcomes. Young adults who complete these credentials have higher employment rates, earnings, autonomy, career opportunities, and job satisfaction than those who enroll but do not complete credentials. Sub-BA credentials can be completed at community college in less time than bachelor’s degrees, making them an affordable option for many low-income students.

    Bridging the Gaps shows that when community colleges overemphasize bachelor’s degrees, they tend to funnel resources into remedial programs, and try to get low-performing students on track for a BA. Yet, remedial programs have inconsistent success rates and can create unrealistic expectations, leading struggling students to drop out before completing any degree. The authors show that colleges can devise procedures that reduce remedial placements and help students discover unseen abilities, attain valued credentials, get good jobs, and progress on degree ladders to higher credentials.

    To turn college-for-all into a reality, community college students must be aware of their multiple credential and career options. Bridging the Gaps shows how colleges can create new pathways for non-traditional students to achieve success in their schooling and careers. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mikelson, Kelly S.; Damron, Neil; Loprest, Pamela
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report describes the first year of the second round of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program (“HPOG 2.0”). HPOG 2.0 provides education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for healthcare occupations that pay well and are in high demand. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded this second round of five-year grants in 2015. The first round of five-year grants was awarded in 2010. HPOG 2.0 grants were made to 32 grantees across 21 states, including five tribal organizations. In the first year of the HPOG 2.0 Program, the grantees enrolled over 5,000 participants. (Author abstract)

    This report describes the first year of the second round of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program (“HPOG 2.0”). HPOG 2.0 provides education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for healthcare occupations that pay well and are in high demand. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded this second round of five-year grants in 2015. The first round of five-year grants was awarded in 2010. HPOG 2.0 grants were made to 32 grantees across 21 states, including five tribal organizations. In the first year of the HPOG 2.0 Program, the grantees enrolled over 5,000 participants. (Author abstract)

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