University of Texas at Dallas Research Indicates Genesys Works Internship Program Increases College Persistence for Participating Students
Study Shows the Persistence Rate Beyond the First Year in College is 86 Percent for Genesys Works’ Graduates
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HOUSTON, TX (May 30, 2012) -- Researchers from the Texas Schools Project at The University of Texas at Dallas conducted a review and analysis of the impact of meaningful high school internships on a student’s persistence through the first year of college. Genesys Works is a 501c3 organization located in Houston, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota that provides under privileged high school seniors with meaningful internships in Fortune 500 companies and other major companies. The study was conducted using data provided by Genesys Works Houston and the Houston Independent School District (HISD).
The University of Texas at Dallas study is the first third party independent study that quantifies the effects that Genesys Works has on economically disadvantaged high school students. The result of the study suggests that the Genesys Works model can be a possible solution to alleviate the nation-wide challenge associated not simply with students finishing high school and attending college, but most importantly, persisting with their college education.
“We are pleased to see the results in the study showing that our students persist at much greater rates than other students from their same high schools,” said Rafael Alvarez, founder and chief executive officer of Genesys Works. “I personally believe that this is due to the fact that once a student has worked in a meaningful capacity in corporate America, going back to a minimum wage occupation is no longer a viable option for their life.”
Researchers compared the experiences of program participants in Houston from 2006 to 2009, to those of non-participants at the same schools, as well as students from other non-participating schools. The study found that of the cohorts studied 92 percent of the program completers went on to college and 86 percent persisted beyond their first year, a good predictor of future college success. This compares favorably to non-participating students from the same schools, 50 percent of students went onto college and 41 percent persisted beyond the first year.
In order to get as clear an understanding as possible of the impact of Genesys Works on students who are likely to be highly motivated and more successful than their peers even without participation in Genesys Works, the researchers conducted a more sophisticated analysis using two conservative control groups to reduce the likelihood of inflated results. Researchers compared Genesys Works participants with the control groups that consisted of students who were very similar in terms of a variety of observable characteristics to Genesys Works participants.
Even with the multiple methods of analysis and conservative control groups, results show very impressive and remarkable benefits for students participating in Genesys Works. The study results find that Genesys Works increases the probability of a student transitioning to a higher education institution by between 16 – 20 percent.
“The positive impact on important student outcomes is both substantively and statistically significant,” said Dr. Nidhi Mehrotra , lead investigator for the project at the University of Texas at Dallas.
The study provides further support for two OECD reports that argue that education that combines formal education and actual work experience is a highly effective method of learning that exceeds classroom education only. The Pathways to Prosperity Study released by Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011, concludes that “if we could develop an American strategy to engage educators and employers in a more collaborative approach to the education and training of the next generation of workers, it would surely produce important social as well as economic returns on investment.”
“Given that this is precisely what Genesys Works is trying to accomplish, the findings of this report lend support to the argument that programs like this are likely to yield high returns,” Dr. Mehrotra added.
The investigators from the University of Texas Dallas used 5 measurements to analyze program impacts. These were:
1. On time graduation,
2. Any higher education transition,
3. Any higher education transition and persistence beyond 1 year,
4. 4 year higher education transition, and
5. How many newcomers have been entered into our database since Sep. 1 of last year?
To read the full study, please click here.
OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training “Learning for Jobs.” September 2010. www.oecd.org/edu/learningforjobs
OECD “Off to a Good Start? Jobs for Youth” 2010. www.oecd.org/employment/youth
Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century.” Pathways to Prosperity Project. February 2011.