High School Dropouts

MDRC designs and evaluates projects that serve young people who have dropped out of high school (or are at risk of dropping out) and that seek to connect them with educational and work opportunities.

The Latest
Issue Focus

Amid keen interest in helping students, young adults, and low-wage workers build the skills necessary to succeed in a technologically advanced economy, MDRC is studying a range of programs that feature employer involvement, such as career pathways from high school into college and the workforce, work-based learning, apprenticeships, and sectoral training.

Report

This report examines the impacts of the nation’s largest summer youth jobs program — New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) — on young people’s education, employment, and earnings. The analysis uses an experimental design based on SYEP’s randomized lottery application system. The report also describes SYEP’s implementation and participants’ experiences.

Key Documents
Brief

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) emphasizes targeting out-of-school youth with training and services that are employer driven and linked to labor market demand. Drawing upon available research and on-the-ground experience, this paper summarizes existing knowledge that can guide implementation of key WIOA provisions for serving out-of-school youth.

Report

Evidence from Promising Programs

A review of high-quality studies, this paper highlights interventions — in education, employment and training, and second-chance programs — that have demonstrated positive results for young men of color. It comes as policymakers and philanthropies focus new attention on investing more to build opportunities for these young men. 

Working Paper

A Scan of the Evidence

Disconnected young people are the focus of several recent national initiatives to improve their life prospects. Drawing on interviews and available research, this MDRC Working Paper scans the current state of policy and evidence regarding what works in helping young people reconnect to work or school.