The Foundation contracted with Metis Associates, a nationally recognized research and evaluation firm, to conduct a one-year evaluation of College-Community Connections during Phase II of the initiative. The evaluation was designed to examine the extent to which the partnerships are helping prepare young people for college and whether the programs are challenging and stimulating and support liberal education. The evaluation also explored what elements of the programs are most impactful and replicable, and if the grantees can sustain them. The main research questions focused on the characteristics of the program participants, elements of the program that were most influential to the students, the potential for sustaining the program, and the extent to which the program can be replicated and if the benefits are worth the investment. The methodology included focus groups with CBO staff and college faculty, surveys of participating secondary students, analysis of participant data, and reviews of program documents.
- The community-based organization/college partnership is a highly effective model for introducing high school students to valuable information about college.
- The CCC program helped secondary students learn about the academic rigors of college coursework and the social responsibilities of being a college student.
- The CCC program influenced students to be more thoughtful in their college search and to apply to selective universities and liberal arts colleges.
- The programs exposed students to liberal education and helped them develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in college.
- The most influential aspects of the CCC program were the on-campus activities and experiences, particularly the interactions participants’ had with college faculty and students.