Enriching Summer Work: An Evaluation of the Summer Career Exploration Program
Author(s): McClanahan, Wendy S.; Sipe, Cynthia; Smith, Thomas J.
Organizational Author(s): Public/Private Ventures
Resource Availability: Publicly available
Evaluates the Summer Career Exploration Program (SCEP), which seeks to prepare low-income teens for work, assist them in exploring career opportunities, and provide them with adult support throughout the summer.
SCEP is a local summer job program for low-income teens that has operated in the Philadelphia region for over 15 years. The evaluation of SCEP addresses four main questions: 1) How is the SCEP program designed and implemented, and is it successful? 2) Who participates in SCEP? 3) What are the short-term and intermediate impacts on participants, if any? 4) What are the lessons from SCEP that can inform other summer youth employment efforts? (p.3). The report describes the program and characteristics of the participants in detail, assesses the quality of implementation, examines the impact of SCEP, presents recommendations for improvements, and explores the potential of summer youth employment programs. (Abstractor: Website Staff)
Major Findings & Recommendations
The findings “indicate that SCEP is a well-implemented summer jobs program that achieves several short term objectives.
• It gets teens jobs, giving them work experience;
• It permits them to earn money and to be productively engaged during their summer-time school break; and
• It provides them with supportive adult contact.
The program is less successful at achieving its intermediate goals:
• Young people who participated in SCEP in 1999 were no more likely to exhibit a stronger orientation toward work and careers than those who did not participate;
• SCEP did not increase employment rates of participants after they left the program; and
• SCEP did not foster a more positive outlook toward academic achievement” (p.4). (Abstractor: Author)