Urban Alliance’s Interim RCT Results Released

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Study Finds Urban Alliance Improves Outcomes for Disadvantaged Students, Boys of Color

Federal Government Commits Funding to Support Ongoing Research, Programming


WASHINGTON, DC (May 17, 2016) – Recent results from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study being conducted by the Urban Institute found that completing the Urban Alliance’s (UA) High School Internship Program (HSIP) increased the likelihood of enrollment in college by 26 percentage points for boys.

The report, the second in a series from Urban Institute, also found that completing the HSIP increased by 21 percentage points the likelihood of enrollment in four-year colleges by students with grade point averages between 2.0 and 3.0.

The study’s findings were further backed when the U.S. Department of Education selected UA as a grantee in the world 2015 Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) Scale-Up and Validation Competition.  This competitive grant, awarded only to programs displaying strong demonstrated impact, positions UA to scale its existing four regions (Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; and Northern Virginia); expand to a new region; and extend the current RCT conducted by Urban Institute while also launching a new RCT to evaluate all the regions.  Urban Alliance was selected as one of 14 awardees was from a pool of over 400 competitive grantees.

To meet the funding requirements of the grant, Bank of America, the Ford Foundation, Zegar Family Foundation, Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, and the Abell Foundation agreed to serve as match partners for UA.  Their funding enables the organization to support 3,000 youth in the HSIP over the next five years.

“The work that Urban Alliance does to empower and equip our students is critical — not just to their individual success and outcomes, but to those of their communities and peers as well,” said Eshauna Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Alliance. “When our young people can experience success themselves, and see it in people with whom they relate, it has the power to change trajectories for generations. Urban Alliance is building a diverse pipeline for these leading employers and historically underrepresented communities. It is both extremely gratifying and humbling to have this work reaffirmed in this way.”

A third finding of the report cited HSIP participants as feeling more comfortable knowing and using the skills (technical and soft skills) necessary for the workforce. The study’s findings and i3 funding cement UA’s position as one of few employment-based models and one of few evidenced organizations impacting education outcomes for disadvantaged youth and boys of color. It is also one of the only year-long employment program for under-resourced high school seniors nationwide.

Urban Alliance was established in 1996 to give youth access to professional growth and experience. The cornerstone of Urban Alliance’s HSIP model are paid, year-round internships funded by employers.  The internships function both as early work experience for the students and an investment in the future of the nation’s workforce by each corporate partner.

To read Urban Institute’s report in full, click the link below.
Embarking on College and Career: Interim Evaluation of Urban Alliance