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Defining Webs of Support: A New Framework to Advance Understanding of Relationships and Youth Development

March 01, 2017

In this brief, the authors present a web of support framework to describe how youth relate to adults and peers in their lives, and how these relationships provide the supports necessary for young people to thrive. This framework is composed of three key layers, each of which contributes to a young person’s development: relationships, resources, and networks/social capital.
Blended Learning Offers Promise as a Strategy for Re-engaging Students

April 07, 2016

This paper presents a landscape analysis of how blended learning currently is being used as a strategy to serve young adults, age 16-24, who have re-engaged in education in an effort to obtain a high school diploma or equivalency. The analysis is based on a review of relevant empirical research and interviews with program developers, practitioners and policy makers in the field.  Contributing to a nascent body of literature, this report highlights examples of how blended learning is being implemented in schools and community-based organizations.
RAND Promising Practices: Accelerated Academics Academy (AAA)

January 15, 2014

The Accelerated Academics Academy (AAA) was an alternative middle school established in the Flint Community Schools school district in Flint, Michigan. Funded and evaluated as part of the federally funded School Dropout Demonstration Assistance Program (SDDAP), it began its operations in 1991 and continued to provide services as of 2008. The primary goal of AAA was to accelerate instruction so that students who are behind one or more grade levels could enter high school with their same-age peers.
RAND Promising Practices: Adolescent Coping with Depression Course

January 15, 2014

The Adolescent Coping with Depression Course (CWD-A) is a skills-based small-group treatment program for actively depressed adolescents. The intervention consists of 16 sessions delivered over a period of eight weeks, with six monthly continuation sessions. Adolescents are taught several skills hypothesized to relieve depression, including assertiveness, relaxation skills, cognitive restructuring techniques, mood monitoring, increasing pleasant activities, and communication and conflict-resolution techniques.
Authentic Youth Engagement: Youth-Adult Partnerships

January 15, 2014

Engaging young people in making plans and decisions that affect their lives reaps critical benefits throughout the transition to adulthood. This issue brief from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative explains how brain development research supports young people having authentic partnerships with adults and gives recommendations for how to create such partnerships. 
RAND Promising Practices: Counselors Care (CARE)

January 15, 2014

Counselors Care (CARE) is a school-based intervention for high-school students at risk for suicide. CARE is a two-part, four-hour program, beginning with a personalized computer-assisted assessment of risk and protective factors, and followed by a brief counseling intervention designed to enhance a youth's personal resources and social network connections.
RAND Promising Practices: Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.)

January 15, 2014

The Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program is a school-based curriculum facilitated by law-enforcement officers. The program’s primary objective is to prevent delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. The G.R.E.A.T. program was originally developed in 1991 by police officers from the Phoenix metropolitan area and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Since then, the gang prevention program has been replicated numerous times in cities across the country. By 1997, G.R.E.A.T.
RAND Promising Practices: Talent Development Secondary

January 15, 2014

The Talent Development Secondary model seeks to enhance student achievement by raising teacher expectations and youth's own expectations for themselves. The goal of the model is to change the school climate by reorganizing the school into smaller learning communities. In these learning communities, students share a common set of peers and teachers across their four years of high school, and course curricula are designed around a common, career-related theme. Teachers are expected to share common planning time and are offered professional development opportunities.
RAND Promising Practices: Teen Talk

January 15, 2014

The Teen Talk program was developed in 1983 to 1984 to help adolescents become aware of the serious negative consequences of teenage pregnancy, the likelihood that they can become pregnant, and the benefits of and barriers to abstinence and contraceptive use. The program is based on two theories of human behavior: the Health Belief Model (viewing actions as dependent on beliefs) and Social Learning Theory (emphasizing actions as proceeding from the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of others).