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Education and Youth Development

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)

Featured Reports

Related Blog Posts

Data to inform decisions

Picture of STEM web page on Minnesota Compass web site

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

Wilder Research worked with ISD287 to launch an evaluation of their move from police officers to district employees titled Student Safety Coaches. The report includes a literature review on promising practices for school-based behavior interventionists and results of a staff survey on perceptions of the program.
Results from this analysis suggest that undergraduate student parents who interact with the U of M's Student Parent Help Center staff and access its referrals and programs are significantly more likely to graduate, remain enrolled each semester, and have a higher cumulative GPA than student parents who completed a SPHC intake but never used these services.
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