Career Beginnings

An Effective Practice


Career Beginnings was developed to enhance the life options of disadvantaged, urban high school students. The program is a school-community-university partnership that offers a comprehensive package for juniors and seniors with college potential who, because of their average grades or economically educationally disadvantaged family backgrounds, would be otherwise unlikely to pursue college or better career options. Though the program targets disadvantaged students, it concentrates on those who demonstrate commitment and motivation. Career Beginnings offers services to help guide students through the college admissions process or through the process of finding full-time employment. Some of the services offered include tutoring, help with college or financial aid applications, job information, and career fairs. Another component of the program involves providing mentors who support students in exploring college and career options through educational workshops, career-specific training, and high-quality summer work experiences.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program is to enhance the life options of disadvantaged, urban high school students.

Results / Accomplishments

The evaluation randomly assigned students to either the program or a control condition (control group individuals did not participate in Career Beginnings but could receive other services from their schools or communities). The Career Beginnings study found several positive outcomes. High school attendance was slightly higher for participants than for control group individuals. Participants reported having higher occupational aspirations. The program succeeded in increasing participants' college attendance in the year immediately following graduation. Limitations of the study are that there was a wide range of delivery compliance among the sites--that is, many of the control group students received services and some of the experimental group did not participate in program services.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
William M. Bloomfield
School & Main Institute
750 Washington Street, NEMC Box 328
Boston, MA 02011
(800) 873-2120
Education / Student Performance K-12
Education / Higher Education
Economy / Poverty
School & Main Institute
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
Date of publication
Geographic Type
Target Audience
Children, Teens