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On Track to Success: The Second Year Evaluation of Congreso’s Éxito Program

Congreso de Latinos Unidos has partnered with Edison High School on the Éxito™ initiative since 2008-09 with the goal of reducing the school’s high dropout rate and increasing graduation rates. The program has received support from a variety of funders in its five-year history, including Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS), The Pew Charitable Trusts, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Philadelphia Youth Network, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and the Comcast Corporation.

The Éxito initiative of Congreso de Latinos Unidos entered its second full year of programming in the 2009-2010 school year. The program is designed to support students who are exhibiting a risk of dropping out of school and keep them on-track to graduation, and includes an after-school program at Edison high school, as well as case management services for a subset of participants.

Research for Action (RFA) is in its second year of a four year evaluation of the program, examining both student outcomes and program implementation. The evaluation follows two cohorts of youth from 9th grade through high school graduation. During the 2009-2010 school year, the first cohort was in 10th grade, while the second cohort of 9th grade students had just entered the program.

This study details the findings of the evaluation in the second year. It reports on the program‘s development, including its:

  • Evolving theory of action;
  • Efforts to recruit youth exhibiting early warning indicators (EWIs) for dropping out of school;
  • Strengths and challenges encountered in implementing the two primary components of the program; and
  • Student outcomes evidenced by both qualitative data, as well as academic and behavioral data, obtained from the School District of Philadelphia (SDP).