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Education and Youth Development

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Youth who have opportunities to develop core academic and 21st century skills are better equipped to graduate from high school, pursue postsecondary education and training, earn a living wage, and be civically engaged.

Wilder Research studies pre-K-12 education, post-secondary education, cradle-to-career systems change, career pathways programs, STEM education, and afterschool and informal learning, particularly to address opportunity and achievement gaps for students who are most vulnerable: low-income students, students of color, students whose primary language is not English, and first-generation college students.

We have expertise in: 

  • Survey of Academic Youth Outcomes (SAYO), Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA), and Youth-led Participatory Action Research
  • Database management to track youth demographics and outcomes
  • Needs assessment to determine needs of youth and families
  • Measurement of youth social-emotional skills through new and existing survey tools
  • Youth and parent focus groups
  • Measurement of academic outcomes using school data
  • Tracking youth outcomes for specific funders (e.g., 21st Century Community Learning Centers)
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Data to inform decisions

STEM education is critical to Minnesota's prosperity, equipping people with skills needed to meet the demands of a 21st century economy. But is Minnesota preparing its residents with the STEM competencies they need to succeed?

Minnesota Compass and Boston Scientific teamed up to provide a framework for tracking STEM growth in our state.

See how our state is performing across critical components of comprehensive STEM growth: identity, achievement, and interest.

84% of Minnesota's high school students graduate on time

Minnesota Compass

Stories of our work

A youth checks the gears on a tabletop windmill with one hand, while she holds control board in the other.

MIGIZI Green Jobs Pathway: Preparing Native American Youth for Green Energy Careers

Learn how Green Jobs Pathway helps youth discover their cultural role as caretakers of the earth, develop their workplace skills, and complete postsecondary coursework or credentials. More about this story »

Recent education and youth development reports

This literature review was designed to explore where metal detectors are used in schools, why they are used, impacts metal detectors have on actual or perceived safety, and best practices for removing metal detectors from schools while not sacrificing any potential safety benefits.
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