A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Illinois State Board of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program: State-Level Program Evaluation 2016-2017

Year Published: 2018

A statewide evaluation of Illinois’ 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2016-17 school year found that based on teacher surveys, a majority of students attending a program for 30 days or more saw improvements in academics,  behavior, and engagement in school. For example, teachers reported that students who were in need of improvement in the following areas improved their academic performance (elementary schoolers- 61 percent, middle/high schoolers- 70 percent), behavior in class (elementary schoolers- 53 percent, middle/high schoolers- 62 percent), motivation to learn (elementary schoolers- 52 percent, middle/high schoolers- 58 percent), and ability to get along with others (elementary schoolers- 57 percent, middle/high schoolers- 66 percent).

Program Name: Illinois 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Program Description:

Illinois’ 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program, which is federally-funded through the 21st CCLC Initiative, provides academic enrichment opportunities for children at high-poverty and low-performing schools. During the 2016-17 program year, 121 grantees operated 380 sites and served 47,970 students. 

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Summer, Afterschool

Location: Illinois

Community Type: Rural, Urban, Suburban

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Program Demographics:

All schools served by Illinois’ 21st CCLC programs are Title I eligible, meaning more than 40 percent of students qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch (FRPL). More than 90 percent of program participants qualified for FRPL, with 92 percent of elementary schooler qualifying and 93 percent of middle/high school students qualifying.  

Program Website: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/21st-Century-Community-Learning-Centers.aspx

Evaluator: Goodyear, L., Mansori, S., Cox, J., Rodriguez, S., & Garcia, G. Education Development Center.

Evaluation Methods:

This evaluation collected data through the federal Teacher APR survey, which provided information on changes in behavior of students regularly attending 21st CCLC programs (students participating in programs for at least 30 days). Annual surveys were administered to grantees during the spring and fall, and site visits were also conducted. Due to changes in standardized testing in Illinois, the availability of test scores at the time of evaluation, and changes in grading systems and reporting systems, the evaluation does not report out on changes in grade or test score proficiency. 

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes:

The evaluation of Illinois’ 21st CCLC programs during the 2016-17 school year found that based on teacher surveys, a majority of students regularly participating in programs (attending a program for 30 days or more) saw improvements in their academic performance and behavior and engagement in school.

School day teachers reported that approximately 6 in 10 elementary schoolers regularly participating in 21st CCLC programs improved their academic performance (61 percent), homework completion (65 percent), and ability to turn in homework on time (60 percent). Among middle and high schoolers regularly participating in 21st CCLC programs, approximately 7 in 10 improved their academic performance (70 percent), as well as their ability to complete (71 percent) and turn in their homework on time (68 percent).

Teachers also reported that a majority of students regularly participating in 21st CCLC programs and were in need of improvement in the following areas made improvements in their ability to get along well with others (elementary schoolers- 57 percent, middle/high schoolers- 66 percent), their classroom attentiveness (elementary schoolers- 55 percent, middle/high schoolers- 63 percent), and their behavior in class (elementary schoolers- 53 percent, middle/high schoolers- 62 percent). Teachers also reported that regular attendees who were in need of improvement in the following areas increased their classroom involvement (elementary schoolers- 69 percent, middle/high schoolers- 63 percent), motivation to learn (elementary schoolers- 52 percent, middle/high schoolers- 58 percent), and regular school day attendance (elementary schoolers- 47 percent, middle/high schoolers- 59 percent).

Associated Evaluation: https://www.isbe.net/Documents/21-CCLC-FY17-Evaluation-Report.pdf

Date Added: December 11, 2018