NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Pathways to Education: An Integrated Approach to Helping At-Risk High School Students

Philip Oreopoulos, Robert S. Brown, Adam M. Lavecchia

NBER Working Paper No. 20430
Issued in August 2014
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED

Pathways to Education is a comprehensive youth support program developed to improve academic outcomes among those entering high school from very poor social-economic backgrounds. The program includes proactive mentoring to each student, daily tutoring, group activities, career counseling, and college transition assistance, combined with immediate and long-term incentives to reinforce a minimum degree of mandatory participation. The program began in 2001 for entering Grade 9 students living in Regent Park, the largest public housing project in Toronto, and expanded in 2007 to include two additional Toronto projects. In all three locations, participation rates quickly rose, to more than 85 percent, even though parents and students were required to commit in writing to conditions and high expectations of the program. Comparing students from other housing projects before and after the introduction of the program, high school graduation and post secondary enrollment rates rose dramatically for Pathways eligible students, in some cases by more than 50 percent.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20430

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