A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Alaska 21st Century Community Learning Centers Statewide Evaluation Report: Fiscal Year 2017

Year Published: 2018

A statewide evaluation of Alaska’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs examined student improvement in academic performance and social and emotional skills. Gains were seen across grade levels and teacher reports indicate that the greater the program attendance, the greater the percentage of students that improved in each category. Teachers reported that 75 percent of students regularly participating in programs improved their overall academic performance and the majority of students demonstrated growth in their social and emotional skills and behavior, such as forming positive relationships with adults (70 percent), working collaboratively with peers (68 percent), and seeking assistance (68 percent). 

Program Name: Alaska 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Program Description:

Alaska’s 21st Century Community Learning Center program—which receives federal support through the 21st CCLC initiative—serves high-needs communities across the state, providing local afterschool and summer programming through 10 grantees operating 37 centers serving 4,243 participants. 

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Summer, Afterschool

Location: Alaska

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Program Demographics:

All schools served by Alaska’s 21st CCLC programs are Title I eligible, meaning more than 40 percent of students qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch. In the 2016-17 program year, 77 percent of students were eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch, 20 percent had special needs, and 16 percent had limited English proficiency. Regarding race and ethnicity, 33 percent of program participants identified as White, 29 percent as American Indian or Alaska Native, 14 percent as two or more races, 7 percent as Black or African American, 6 percent as Asian, 6 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 5 percent as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. 

Program Website: https://education.alaska.gov/21cclc

Evaluator: Petrokubi, J., Torres, K., Bisht, B., Fantz, T., & Esswein, J. Education Northwest.

Evaluation Methods:

This evaluation draws on program and participant data collected from the federal Annual Performance Report (APR), teacher survey results, and operations data. Teacher surveys are used as the primary source to track participant progress statewide, as no data could be collected on statewide assessments due to the cancellation of the old assessment method in spring 2016 and the adoption of the new Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools (PEAKS) assessments in spring 2017. 

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes:

This evaluation tracked improvements in areas such as school performance and engagement, and social and emotional skills and behavior. Teachers were asked to rate the progress of students regularly participating in programs (attending a program for 30 days or more) on a five-point scale from “significantly declined” to “significantly improved.” Most students showed growth in their academic performance (75 percent) and class participation (70 percent), and a strong majority show improvement in homework completion (63 percent).

Students also demonstrated social and emotional growth, improving in their ability to form positive relationships with adults (70 percent), seek assistance (68 percent), work collaboratively with peers (68 percent), and persevere through challenges (67 percent). Gains in school performance, engagement, and social and emotional growth were seen across grade levels. For instance, 76 percent of elementary schoolers, 59 percent of middle schoolers, and 72 percent of high schoolers improved their academic performance; 71 percent of elementary schoolers, 57 percent of middle schoolers, and 73 percent of high schoolers improved their class participation; and 69 percent of elementary schoolers, 58 percent of middle schoolers, and 68 percent of high schoolers improved their ability to collaborate with their peers (See Figures 3-1 and 3-3 for more details).

Teacher reports indicate that the greater the program attendance, the greater the percentage of students that improved in each category. For example, teachers reported that 77 percent of students attending the program 90 days or more improved their academic performance and 69 percent improved persevering through challenges compared to 69 percent and 61 percent of students respectively attending the program between 30 to 59 days (See Figures 3-2 and 3-4 for more details).

In answering the survey questions, teachers were not asked whether a student needed to improve. The evaluation is therefore unable to determine how this factor may have influenced the percentage of students lacking improvement in each category. 

Associated Evaluation: https://education.alaska.gov/21cclc/pdf/statewide_eval_report.pdf

Date Added: December 7, 2018