Enriching Summer Work: An Evaluation of the Summer Career Exploration Program

by Wendy S. McClanahan; Cynthia L. Sipe; Thomas J. Smith

Aug 23, 2004
To determine the impact of the Summer Career Exploration Program (SCEP), a privately funded summer jobs program for low-income teens, P/PV examined the lives of over 1700 applicants. These youth were randomly assigned to participate or to not participate in SCEP in the summer of 1999, and their outcomes were compared at four and twelve months after program application. Researchers found that implementation was strong, but program impacts were less impressive. While SCEPs participants got summer jobs at a substantially higher rate (92%) than the control group (62%), the programs ability to translate this large and immediate summer employment impact into intermediate gains (in terms of future plans, college enrollment, work success, sense of self-efficacy or reduced criminal activity) proved to be negligible. Although impacts were short lived, the report concludes that SCEP and similar programs have an important place in the larger mosaic of supports, programs and opportunities for young people.
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