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Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities Program

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.

Program Outcomes

  • 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

  • School
  • Community

Continuum of Intervention

  • Selective Prevention

Age

  • Late Adolescence (15-18) - High School

Gender

  • Both

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Endorsements

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

Program Information Contact

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
Email: alancurtis@eisenhowerfoundation.org
Website: www.eisenhowerfoundation.org

Program Developer/Owner

Dr. Alan Curtis
The Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation


Brief Description of the Program

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.

Outcomes

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.

Brief Evaluation Methodology

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.

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.


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


* Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program

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

Gender Specific Findings
  • Male
  • Female
Race/Ethnicity Specific Findings
  • White
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • African American
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.

The initial Quantum Opportunities training session offered by the Eisenhower Foundation is held over two days in Washington, DC. Foundation staff and selected outside practitioners lead the Workshop. The Executive Directors and Program Directors generally participate in the training session.

On Day 1, participants receive training on the goals and objectives of the Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities Program, as well as each of the 6 specific program interventions (for example, on how best to undertake effective tutoring and best practices to prepare youth for post-secondary education and training). The train-the-trainer model is also employed so that staff can return to their sites and train additional staff members.

On Day 2, participants will receive training on staff and youth recruitment, staff and youth retention, program management, data collection and reporting. At the end of the session work plans are developed and discussed.

A second training session is required before a program moves into year 2. The training is held over a two-day period in Washington, DC. On Day 1, participants review the goals and objectives of the Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities Program, as well as each of the 6 specific program interventions. Challenges, barriers, successes and improvements with meeting the goals objectives are discussed. Participants are broken apart in teams to promote team building, innovation and strategic thinking.

On Day 2, participants revisit their previously developed work plans and make needed changes and improvements. During Day 2, sustainability, fundraising and community networking are emphasized.

Source: Washington State Institute for Public Policy
All benefit-cost ratios are the most recent estimates published by The Washington State Institute for Public Policy for Blueprint programs implemented in Washington State. These ratios are based on a) meta-analysis estimates of effect size and b) monetized benefits and calculated costs for programs as delivered in the State of Washington. Caution is recommended in applying these estimates of the benefit-cost ratio to any other state or local area. They are provided as an illustration of the benefit-cost ratio found in one specific state. When feasible, local costs and monetized benefits should be used to calculate expected local benefit-cost ratios. The formula for this calculation can be found on the WSIPP website.

Start-Up Costs

Initial Training and Technical Assistance

The initial training fee is $30,000 for a Washington DC-based training for up to 20 trainees, program manuals for 20 trainees, program forms, and 16 hours of training/guidance to mentor advocates. This cost does not include a per diem, which may be offered to trainees, or the costs of trainee travel to DC.

Curriculum and Materials

Included in initial training fee.

Licensing

There are no licensing fees.

Other Start-Up Costs

Costs of space, equipment and supplies for staff should be considered. If the program is offered in multiple locations, it will increase costs.

Intervention Implementation Costs

Ongoing Curriculum and Materials

All program materials are provided at the start-up of the program at no cost. Administrative and reporting forms are provided at no cost to the program provider. Minimal photocopying and printing of materials may be required.

Staffing

When offered by a community-based non-profit organization, an Executive Director, who is an existing staff person of the organization, usually administers the program. Along with the Executive Director, a program serving a cohort of 30 - 40 youth would generally be staffed by 1 Program Coordinator, 2 part-time staff assistants, and volunteer advocates.

Qualifications: The developers do not require specific educational requirements of staff, but look for staff who can make a long-term, full-time commitment to youth, with their many needs; exhibit proficiency in high school math and English; have computer literacy; and have experience in working with teens.

Ratios: A full-time Program Coordinator can operate a program serving 30 - 40 youth and a part-time (.5 FTE) staff assistant can serve 15 - 20 youth.

Time to Deliver Intervention: The model is an intensive support model focused on commitment to and responsiveness to participants. It does not require a certain number of hours of programming per week, but is typically run five days per week for three hours per day during the school year and programming is made available during school breaks and summer well.

Other Implementation Costs

Youth participants receive a stipend of $1.25 per hour of participation.

Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Costs

Ongoing Training and Technical Assistance

It is required that a refresher training session is completed at least by the beginning of year 2. The cost is $20,000 for up to 20 trainees.

The cost for additional technical assistance and training beyond the refresher training is $400 per 8 hours of phone or on-site technical assistance or training. It is recommended that technical assistance should occur at least 3-4 times per year.

Fidelity Monitoring and Evaluation

The fidelity monitoring fee is included in the start-up cost for the first year. Thereafter, there is a yearly fee of $2,800.

Ongoing License Fees

None.

Other Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Costs

No information is available

Other Cost Considerations

None.

Year One Cost Example

For this example, an organization in its first year of Quantum Opportunities would be training 4 staff to serve 35 students. The following costs can be projected for this example.

Start-up (includes training, materials, consultation) $30,000.00
Program Director (Paid Advocate) $55,000.00
Assistant Coordinators (2 Paid Advocates) $20,000.00
Stipends $11,500.00
Service Fund (program activities, supplies, trips and other expenses) $4,500.00
Administrative Overhead and Office at 20% of Direct $24,200.00
Total One Year Cost $145,200.00

With the program serving 35 young people in this first year, the cost per youth would be $4,148 per youth. Per youth costs would decline significantly beyond the initial training costs of year 1 and 2.

Funding Overview

Quantum Opportunities is a youth development program focused on helping high-risk high school students complete high school, enroll in postsecondary education, and avoid negative outcomes including high school dropout and arrests. The program includes mentoring, educational advocacy, tutoring and assistance with postsecondary preparation, and youth leadership. The comprehensive nature of the program means that it could potentially be supported with the full range of government and private funding streams focused on positive youth development.

Funding Strategies

Improving the Use of Existing Public Funds

If there are existing youth development programs serving high school students, those programs could use the Quantum Opportunities model to train and structure the work of staff.

Allocating State or Local General Funds

State and local education funds and state prevention funds can be allocated to Quantum Opportunities. State Tobacco Settlement revenues have been used by some states for prevention programs. Local school districts or state departments of education could also opt to allocate state or local education funds to support Quantum Opportunities.

Maximizing Federal Funds

Formula Funds:

  • Title I can potentially support the tutoring and educational advocacy components of the program, particularly when programs are located in and delivered in close collaboration with high schools.
  • OJJDP Formula Funds support a variety of improvements to delinquency prevention programs and juvenile justice programs in states. Evidence-based programs are an explicit priority for administering agency to community-based programs.
  • The WIOA Youth Formula Funds: The Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act youth formula funds support activities that promote youth leadership, and employment. WIOA funds are administered by the Federal Department of Labor to local Workforce Investment Boards, which make decisions about how local funds are allocated.

Discretionary Grants: Federal discretionary grants from the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, or the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention may be available to support Quantum Opportunities.

Foundation Grants and Public-Private Partnerships

Foundation grants, particularly from foundations with a focus on academic achievement, mentoring and youth development would be appropriate sources of funding for the Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities Program.

Debt Financing

No information is available

Generating New Revenue

Fund raising may be considered to support the Quantum Opportunities program. Traditional fundraising such as donor development, and events could be used. Depending on the state and local context, generating dedicated public revenue streams may also be an option through mechanisms such as sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco, specialized vanity license plates dedicated to children, and tax form check-offs.

Data Sources

No information is available

Program Developer/Owner

Dr. Alan CurtisPresidentThe Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation1875 Connecticut Ave NW #410Washington DC20009(202) 234-8104(202)338-3335alancurtis@eisenhowerfoundation.org www.eisenhowerfoundation.org

Program Outcomes

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

Program Specifics

Program Type

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

Program Setting

  • School
  • Community

Continuum of Intervention

  • Selective Prevention

Program Goals

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.

Target Population

Age

  • Late Adolescence (15-18) - High School

Gender

  • Both

Gender Specific Findings

  • Male
  • Female

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Race/Ethnicity Specific Findings

  • White
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • African American

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.

Risk/Protective Factor Domain

  • Individual
  • School
  • Family
  • Neighborhood/Community

Risk/Protective Factors

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


*Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program

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

Brief Description of the Program

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.

Description of the Program

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.

Theoretical Rationale

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.

Theoretical Orientation

  • Skill Oriented
  • Social Learning

Brief Evaluation Methodology

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.

Outcomes (Brief, over all studies)

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.

Outcomes

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.

Mediating Effects

No mediation analysis conducted.

Effect Size

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.

Generalizability

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

Potential Limitations

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

Notes

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

Endorsements

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

Peer Implementation Sites

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

Program Information Contact

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
Email: alancurtis@eisenhowerfoundation.org
Website: www.eisenhowerfoundation.org

References

Study 1

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

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

Study 1

Evaluation Methodology

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.

Contact

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development
University of Colorado Boulder
Institute of Behavioral Science
UCB 483, Boulder, CO 80309

Email: blueprints@colorado.edu

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currently funded by Arnold Ventures (formerly the Laura and John Arnold Foundation) and historically has received funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.