Research & Policy Questions

Each of the career pathways studies is guided by a set of research questions that is central to the evaluation. Below is a list of the research questions specific to each study.

Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE)

Implementation Study:

  1. What is the basic design and underlying logic of each PACE program? What are its elements? What is its institutional and community context?
  2. To what extent was the intervention delivered as planned? What was the fidelity to the design? If the program’s structure and services changed during the study period, why?
  3. What were the treatment group’s participation patterns and experiences with program services? With transitions beyond the core career pathways program?
  4. What are the differences in type, duration, and content of services received by treatment and control group members?
  5. What are the lessons from PACE programs for the field in the areas of scalability and sustainability?

Impact Study:

  1. What is the impact of each program on key indicators of progress in career pathways‐relevant training, such as persistence in education and the achievement of certificates and degrees?
  2. What are the impacts of each program on entry to career‐track employment, and earnings?
  3. What are the impacts of each program on individual and family well‐being?
  4. Do impacts vary by subgroups or other moderators of impact, and, if so, which characteristics are associated with larger or smaller effects?
  5. Are there impacts on program services and/or intermediate outcomes that seem to be acting as pathways to observed impacts on attainment of certificates and degrees, or earnings?

HPOG-Impact

  1. What impacts do the HPOG programs as a group have on the outcomes of participants and their families?
  2. To what extent do those impacts vary across selected subpopulations?
  3. Which locally adopted program components influence average impacts?
  4. To what extent does participation in a particular HPOG component (or components) change the impact on trainees?
  5. What services comparable to those available to HPOG participants exist in the local community?
  6. What is the relative supply of, and accessibility to, those counterfactual services?
  7. What services and trainings did control group members use?

HPOG National Implementation Evaluation (NIE)

  1. How are health professions training programs being implemented across the grantee sites?
  2. What changes to the service delivery system are associated with program implementation?
  3. What individual-level outputs and outcomes occur (e.g., recruitment, enrollment, retention, completion (accreditation/certification), job entry, employment retention and advancement, and earnings)?

Tribal HPOG

  1. Have grantees incorporated structures necessary to enhance the health care workforce of the community?
  2. Have grantees implemented processes that successfully prepare participants for employment in the tribal health care sector?
  3. Is there evidence that participation in the program resulted in successful employment and workforce capacity-building outcomes?

HPOG Implementation, Systems, and Outcomes (ISO)

  1. How are health professions training programs being implemented across the grantee sites?
  2. What changes to the service delivery system are associated with program implementation?
  3. What individual-level outputs and outcomes occur—e.g., recruitment, enrollment, retention, completion (accreditation/certification), job entry, employment retention and advancement, and earning?
  4. What key components appear necessary to, or contribute to the success of, these programs?

HPOG University Partnerships

Research Goals

  • To examine questions relevant to the HPOG program goals and objectives, as delineated by the legislation
  • To augment the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF’s) multi-pronged evaluation of HPOG demonstrations by focusing on particular questions relevant to career track education and training programs in the health professions and related labor market issues
  • To support research to inform and improve HPOG program performance
  • To emphasize the importance of developing true working research partnerships with HPOG programs and other relevant entities within the community, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the applied research work
  • To address issues of current relevance to decisionmakers at the local, state, and national levels in order to inform policy decisions and solutions, particularly those related to career track education and training programs and related labor market issues for recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and other low-income populations, and tribal communities

Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes (CPIO)

  1. What are the longer-term effects of the HPOG and PACE programs on their populations of interest?
  2. How do effects of career pathways programs vary over time, across outcomes or domains, by occupational sector, by program model, and by participant characteristics?
  3. Do different HPOG and PACE models, strategies, or components lead to different impacts for participants?
  4. How can career pathways models be adjusted to promote longer-term outcomes for participants?