Competency-based education models allow students to move through material independently, advancing when they demonstrate content mastery. Proponents of competency-based approaches view them as a potential solution to student demand for flexible, career-relevant programs and to employer demand for skilled workers. This executive summary presents findings from the comprehensive evaluation of online, competency-based information technology programs offered by a consortium of three community colleges under a grant from the U.S.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
The SourceAmerica Pathways to Careers™ (Pathways) initiative relies upon state-of-the-art employment strategies to enable people with significant disabilities to have an informed choice of competitive, integrated, full-wage employment options that match their individual skills, interests, and abilities. In this report, we document the activities of the pilot Pathways project in Utah and the experiences of participants from the time this pilot project launched in May 2012 through December 2016, the fourth full year of implementation. During that time, the project enrolled 91 participants.
Mathematica and Casey Family Programs have published the final report from a project linking child welfare and Medicaid data to conduct analyses to understand types of high service use and to identify factors predictive of high service use among children in foster care. The study identifies distinct types of high service users and how both child welfare and Medicaid data can be used to predict which children may be likely to experience high degrees of placement instability.
This video explains how income instability affects families’ every day lives. It highlights opportunities for policymakers and program administrators to promote greater income stability and mobility through income support programs. The video proposes that policymakers and program administrators consider changes to eligibility determination and recertification procedures to promote stable incomes and reduce the cost of program administration.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Behavioral Interventions (DOL-BI) project adds to a growing body of evidence indicating that relatively small changes in how programs operate can lead to striking improvements in their performance. In three trials that tested applications of behavioral science, the project team found substantial benefits for three DOL programs. We have published detailed technical reports on the design and findings of each trial. This brief focuses on the lessons learned by the team as it identified opportunities for behavioral trials and implemented each one.
This report presents findings from Mathematica’s behavioral insights study conducted for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) program in Michigan. This report presents our findings on the effects of emails designed to encourage UI claimants to (1) schedule and attend REA sessions with Michigan Works! Southwest and (2) persist in efforts that will help them succeed in their job search efforts following REA program completion. Key findings include:
Researchers, policymakers, and practitioners are increasingly interested in the role that self-regulation and goal attainment may play in the ability of low-income adults to get and keep a job. Findings from three broad areas of research fuel this interest. The first suggests that setting and pursuing goals, which can foster positive outcomes in a variety of contexts, requires the ability to self-regulate emotions, thoughts, and behavior (Deci and Ryan, 2000).
The authors study the collateral consequences of women's criminal records on their future employment, welfare participation, and health outcomes. We jointly estimate dynamic structural equations for life-cycle behaviors (employment, school enrollment, and welfare receipt), criminal offenses, and general and mental health outcomes using a cohort of disadvantaged women surveyed at five non-uniform intervals over thirteen years.
In November 2016, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) began a year-long initiative to support child development in Detroit, Michigan. The Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership initiative was designed to reduce vulnerabilities caused by economic and social inequity through community engagement, stakeholder collaboration, and research. As part of this initiative, WKKF partnered with Mathematica to conduct a review of the informal child care landscape in Detroit.
This methodological report focuses on the development of qualitative instruments designed to better understand family engagement in Head Start and Early Head Start. The report draws on pilot data collected during the 2012-2013 program year and provides information about the performance of the piloted interview protocols, revisions made to instruments based on their performance, and the best methods for gathering qualitative information about family engagement experiences from families and staff in future studies.