Our results: 2017 randomized controlled trial

In August 2017 we completed an independent, six-year, randomized controlled trial measuring Urban Alliance’s long-term impact on youth who completed our flagship High School Internship Program.

Our partner Urban Institute, a nationally-recognized, independent research organization, followed 1,062 Washington, DC and Baltimore youth from the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years throughout the program and into their third year after Urban Alliance. They found that completing Urban Alliance has a significant impact on: the likelihood of young men attending college, the likelihood of middle-tier students attending a 4-year college, and the retention of critical soft skills over time.

We’ve always known from internal data and the individual student successes we see each year that we’re doing something right, but completing this RCT has given us a powerful new way to show the incredible impact Urban Alliance has on our students. These results will also help us to expand our work to serve even more students.

Our interim results were also used to win an Investing in Innovation (i3) validation grant from the Department of Education – one of just 14 awarded that year – which will help us expand to a fifth region in 2018.

Only two percent of nonprofits ever conduct an RCT, generally regarded as the gold standard of program evaluation.

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