More than half of all pre-college early awareness and intervention initiatives are run by a college or university. The remainder are community- and school-based. Some are funded with federal dollars, others with state dollars and many through non-profit organizations. The most common goals of these programs are:
Services are typically delivered on a college campus or at an elementary or secondary school, and may include:
The student populations most often targeted by early awareness/early intervention programs are low-income, minority and/or students who would be the first-generation in their family to attend college. Most programs focus on middle and high school students although some begin in grade school.
Representing more than half of all total funding, the federal government is the largest source of financial support for early intervention programs although such funding is primarily for the federal TRIO and GEAR-UP programs. Financial support from state governments, non-profit organizations and colleges and universities make up the remainder. Most programs receive financial support from more than one source.
Ninety-four percent of early intervention programs report that they conduct program evaluations, according to the National Survey of Outreach Programs. About three-fourths report that they track program completion, 64 percent report that they track high school graduation and 29 percent track graduation from college. In their review of relevant literature, Schultz & Mueller of Wilder Research (2006) provided information on the following features associated with effective programs.
However, rigorous evaluation of programs to improve postsecondary education enrollment and success is limited (Schultz & Mueller, 2006). Therefore, the evidence of effectiveness is limited, and there are things we do not know about early intervention programs:
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