sharing best practices and strategies in school reform

Thomson ITP mentor Eva Keane (left) with Bossier City, LA, high school student Miranda McDonald

School-to-Career Research

URL Links Update 4/25/03!
Thanks to Anne Danenberg, a Research Associate at the Public Policy Institute of California, for alerting me to the need to update the URLs on all the key research reports listed below. The demise of many key organizations promoting School-to-Career, starting with the National School-to-Work Office (NSTWO), necessitates these updates.

NSTWO Web Site Archive
The outstanding web site developed by the National School-to-Work Office (NSTWO) is now archived at


Below are key research reports on the efficacy of School-to-Career programs. Research from Boston, Philadelphia, and New York State show positive student high school and post-high school outcomes. Research from the National Employer Leadership Council (NELC) shows positive bottom-line results (Return on Investment) for business and education partners participating in school-to-career activities. The research is summarized in the 1999 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

School-to-Work: High Yields for Students, Schools, Parents, Educators, Employers, Legislators, Businesses, Communities, and the Job Market, 1999 (PDF File)
A Guide for State Legislators published by the National Conference of State Legislatures. This guide, tailored to state legislators, provides general information about STW and reports on the success of the initiative.

ProTech Post-High School Outcomes, May 1998 (PDF File)
Recent research on Boston Public School graduates provides evidence that linking high schools with employers and other community allies can have a strong, lasting influence on students. The study is among the first to collect information on college enrollment and postsecondary employment and earnings over several years.

School District of Philadelphia - Work-Based Learning (WBL)
School District of Philadelphia data and preliminary results from studies conducted by outside evaluators Madonna Yost opinion research and Professor Frank Linnehan of Drexel University point to measurable gains associated with Philadelphia School-to-Career's Work-Based Learning program. While these studies have not been formally published, they offer compelling support for work-based learning's positive impact on student outcomes.

New York State's STW Initiative Demonstrates Promising Student Results
"New research on [STW] in New York suggests that students who participate in career development and work-based learning activities...reap significant benefits from their involvement. The study conducted by the State's independent evaluator for STW, Westchester Institute for Human Services Research Inc., is among the first to gather reliable information on the academic and career-related experiences of STW students during high school and one year following high school graduation." A compendium of this study is also available from the American Youth Policy Forum.

National Employer Leadership Council Return-on-Investment Study (PDF)
The National Employer Leadership Council's (NELC) newest Return on Investment report, "Intuitions Confirmed...The Bottom-line Return on School-to-Work Investment for Students and Employers", issued March 1999, outlines positive bottom-line results for business and education partners participating in school-to-career activities. Highlighted companies include: Autodesk, Charles Schwab, Crown AutoWorld, Eastman Kodak, McDonald's, Siemens, Sutter Health, and BellSouth. Three of these companies, Autodesk, Charles Schwab, and Siemens, are actively engaged in STC activities in the Bay Area and are leaders of BaySCAN.

You can read the Return on Investment Report online or Download a free copy (in pdf format) at You can also read or download the Autodesk, Inc., case study.