The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) project, formerly known as Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency, is a rigorous evaluation of next-generation strategies for increasing the economic self-sufficiency of low-income individuals and families.
The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) project, formerly known as Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency, is a rigorous evaluation of next-generation strategies for increasing the economic self-sufficiency of low-income individuals and families. PACE aims to produce methodologically rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of nine selected career pathways approaches that will address issues of interest to federal, state, and local policymakers and practitioners and have significant influence on policy and practice. The evaluation uses a random assignment methodology.
The evaluation includes an impact study and an implementation study.
- Impact Study: The impact study measures differences between the treatment and control group members on main and intermediate outcomes. Main outcomes include educational outcomes (e.g., persistence in education, receipt of certificates and degrees) and employment and earnings-related outcomes. Analyses also will assess whether impacts vary by subgroup, and estimate impacts for intermediate outcomes in the theory of change for each program. The PACE team will analyze and report findings for each program separately. The first impact reports will cover at least 15 months of follow-up after the point of random assignment.
- Implementation Study: The implementation study describes and documents the design and operations of each of the nine PACE programs. It provides contextual information for understanding and interpreting the impact estimates and findings on implementation experiences to guide future program designs and implementations.
The study is led by Abt Associates. Key evaluation partners include the American Public Human Services Association, MEF Associates, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association, the University of Michigan, and the Urban Institute.
(One-minute video providing overview of PACE Study)
In 2007, ACF initiated the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education project, a multi-site, random assignment evaluation of promising strategies for increasing employment and self-sufficiency among low-income families. Eligible participants were randomly assigned to treatment or control groups between November 2011 and December 2014. The final PACE program reports will be submitted to ACF between April 2016 and May 2017.
PACE Partner Sites
PACE includes nine programs in 18 locations across the United States. These programs are housed in community colleges, community-based organizations and non-profits, and workforce agencies.
The nine PACE programs are: Carreras en Salud: Instituto del Progreso Latino, Des Moines Area Community College, Madison Area Technical College, Pima Community College, San Diego Workforce Partnership, Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement, Washington I-BEST program in Bellingham Technical College, Everett Community College, Whatcom Community College, Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, and Year Up.
PACE Partners and Sponsors
Primary Evaluation Sponsor
The PACE evaluation is funded by The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE). OPRE is the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of programs designed to improve the economic and social well-being of children and families.
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.
Abt Associates has several partners who are assisting with the PACE evaluation:
Other Project Supporters
A number of foundations provided generous support to individual PACE sites to help them increase their scale to enable evaluation and/or enhance their programs. Open Society Foundations made a generous grant to support the PACE sites early in the study. Other supporters of PACE programs include The Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, The Hearst Foundation and the Meadows Foundation.
- Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE), 2007-2017
- Abt Leads First Rigorous Nationwide Evaluation of Career Pathways
Information for PACE Participants
- PACE 15-month Advance Letter
- PACE 36-month Advance Letter
- PACE Evaluation Slipsheet
- PACE Contact Update
PACE Project Director
Social Science Research Analyst
Administration for Children and Families
Other ACF-Sponsored Studies
The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) provides education and training to TANF recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. Multiple complimentary evaluations of the HPOG program are being sponsored by ACF.