Series # :
  ETAOP 2014-03
Title :
  Job Corps Process Study
Release Date :
  August 8, 2014
Abstract :

Job Corps is a comprehensive program designed to assist eligible unemployed and undereducated youth ages 16 through 24 who can benefit from intensive education and training services to become more employable, responsible, and productive citizens.

The purpose of this 30-month-long process study of the Job Corps was to explore and identify center-level practices that are associated with center performance outcomes. Through examination of center level practices and policies, this study identified best practices across centers and assessed how these best practices may be related to center performance. Center practices in the following domains were examined: 1) general center management; 2) academic training practices; 3) Career Technical Training (CTT) practices; 4) student life and development; 5) staff dynamics and culture; 6) center corporate operator oversight; and 7) community and partner relations. This study used a variety of data collection and analytical activities. The data collection activities included: 1) conducting interviews with Job Corps management; 2) conducting site visits to selected Job Corps centers; and 4) administering a survey to all Job Corps Center Directors.

Some of the best practices identified by the study include:

  • Center Directors at high-performing centers rank staff goal setting for reaching positive student outcomes, such as high grades and completion of courses, as the most influential element in improving center performance, while Center Directors at low-performing centers indicate that compliance with Job Corps policies is the most influential.
  • High-performing centers are more likely to use student-oriented methods to address student academic performance issues (e.g., Individual Education Programs (IEP), alternative learning opportunities based on student needs, tutoring) than low-performing centers, which report using more instructor- or system-based methods (e.g., instructor training, student incentives).
  • High-performing centers apply a wider range of strategies to retain non-residential students than low-performing centers, including using a staff-student mentorship program, using a progressive behavior management system, and holding meetings to address students at risk of becoming Absent Without Leave (AWOL).
  • High-performing centers provide incentive payments based on center Outcomes Measurement System performance to all types of staff (e.g., academic and CTT instructors, resident staff, counselors) to a much greater extent than do low-performing centers.

Publication Author(s)
IMPAQ International
  • Morgan Sacchetti Barnes
  • Jacob Benus
  • Terry Johnson
  • Mary Kay Dugan
  • Jim Cooper
  • Micheal P. Kirsch
Full Text Document(s)
Additional Information

Hard copy available: No