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Staying on Course: Three-Year Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

NCJ Number
Megan Millenky; Dan Bloom; Sara Muller-Ravett; Joseph Broadus
Date Published
108 pages

This report presents results from an evaluation of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program which aims to help at-risk youth who have dropped out of school; it provides background information about the program and characteristics of the study’s participants; a summary of earlier findings; three-year survey results; in-depth interviews with program graduates; a discussion of conclusions and next steps; and the appendices provide supporting documents.


This report analyzes an evaluation study of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, which is an intensive, quasi-military residential program targeting high school dropouts. The 17-month ChalleNGe program is divided into three phases, with a Pre-ChalleNGe, two-week orientation and assessment period, a 20-week Residential Phase, and a one-year Postresidential Phase. A comprehensive survey was administered to approximately 1,200 young adults, including program participants and control groups, at an average of three years after they entered the study. Key survey findings include: members of the program group were much more likely than control group members to have obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate or high school diploma, and to have earned college credits; members of the program group were more likely to be employed at the time of the survey; and there were few statistically significant differences between groups on measures of crime, delinquency, health, or lifestyle outcomes. Based on the evaluation results, the authors suggest that the program may benefit from experimenting with ways to enhance the Postresidential Phase of the program, which would be rigorously evaluated to determine whether or not they increase the program’s long-term impacts.