Aug 20, 2018
National Guard Youth ChalleNGe is a residential, quasi-military program for young people at risk of dropping out of high school. This report, which provides information on recent ChalleNGe participants, will be of interest to ChalleNGe program staff, personnel providing oversight for the program, and policymakers concerned with designing effective youth programs and/or determining appropriate metrics by which to track progress in youth programs.
The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program is a residential, quasi-military program for young people ages 16–18 who are experiencing difficulty in traditional high school. The program is operated by participating states through their state National Guard organizations with supporting federal funds and oversight. The first ChalleNGe sites began in the mid-1990s; today there are 40 ChalleNGe sites in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To date, more than 145,000 young people have completed the ChalleNGe program. Congress requires the ChalleNGe program to deliver a report on its progress each year.
The program includes a 5.5-month Residential Phase followed by a 12-month Post-Residential Phase, which includes support from a mentor. The stated goal of ChalleNGe is "to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16–18-year-old high school dropouts, producing program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens."
In this report, we provide information on recent ChalleNGe participants, is in support of the required annual report to Congress. We also lay out a framework for evaluating ChalleNGe sites. Subsequent reports will provide additional information on future cohorts of students, will build on this framework to develop more detailed and more effective metrics, and will provide strategies for data collection in support of these metrics. Methods used in this study include site visits, data collection and analysis, literature review, and development of two tools to assist in improving the metrics — a theory of change (TOC) and a program logic model.
Introduction: The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program
Data and Analyses: 2015 ChalleNGe Classes
Initial Framework for Measuring the Longer-Term Outcomes
Site-Specific Information and Data
Tests of Adult Basic Education
Detailed Information by ChalleNGe Site