Provides an overview of the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) career pathways framework and its theory of change that guides the evaluation.

"This brief focuses on a “project [that] is a major national effort to evaluate the effectiveness of nine career pathways programs using experimental design.  It [also] describes the nine programs in the evaluation and concludes with the study’s research questions and data sources.  Later reports and briefs will present findings from the evaluation and be posted on (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/research/project/pathways-for-advancing-careers-and-education)”’ (p.4).

“The PACE evaluation framework provides a road map for studying career pathways programs. In addition to providing a guide for describing and assessing specific programs, the framework can inform the development of both discrete programs and systems change initiatives that seek to integrate services and resources” (p.4).

The theory of change “…depicts how the four program components described above (“inputs”) may influence intermediate outcomes, which in turn affect main career pathways outcomes—the primary targets of change— improved educational and employment outcomes. It also shows how local contextual factors are expected to influence program participant outcomes” (p.6).

“PACE uses an experimental evaluation design in which individuals who are eligible for the program are assigned, by lottery, to either a treatment group that can participate in the program or a control group that cannot, but can access other available programs and services in the community” (p.10).

“The programs in the PACE evaluation are:

  • Bridge to Employment in the Health Care Industry at the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP)
  • Carreras en Salud at Instituto del Progreso Latino
  • Health Careers for All at the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC)
  • Pathways to Healthcare at Pima Community College (PCC)
  • Patient Care Academies at Madison Area Technical College (MATC)
  • Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement (VIDA)
  • Washington Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program at three sites (Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College and Everett Community College)
  • Workforce Training Academy (WTA) Connect at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)
  • Year Up (eight sites)” (p.8).

(Abstractor: Author)

 (Full Publication Title: Improving the Economic Prospects of Low-Income Individuals Through Career Pathways Programs: The Innovative Strategies For Increasing Self-Sufficiency Evaluation)