The Promise Fellow Program is an intervention designed to prevent dropout amongst students in grades 6-12 in Minnesota that show early warning signs of school disengagement. The program is led by interventionists known as Promise Fellows and provides three research-based supports that align with the National Dropout Prevention Center’s “Basic Core Strategies”: caring adults, service-learning, and out-of-school supports.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of the Promise Fellow Program on student school attendance overall and across various student subgroups such as gender, race, and grade level. It investigated whether there was a statistically significant difference in the percentage of days attended between students served by the Promise Fellow Program and students not served by the program.
The research questions were:
- Is there a statistically significant difference in the percentage of days of school attended between students served by the Promise Fellow Program and students not served by the program during the 2021-2022 academic year?
- What is the impact of the Promise Fellow Program on school attendance for various student subgroups?
The evaluation found that:
- Results of the impact evaluation suggest that the Promise Fellow Program had a statistically significant positive effect on school attendance for students that participated.
- On average, students that participated in the program attended one more week (or roughly five more days) of school than students that did not participate in the program.
- The program seemed most effective for students at higher grade levels, as well as Asian, Latinx, and multi-racial students.