Impact assessment of the Dr. Jerry Hamm early learning center: A formal program evaluation study of the program’s impact on child outcomes
Barbour, Randy J.
AdvisorBurdsal, Charles A.
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This evaluation study investigated the impact of the Dr. Jerry Hamm Early Learning Center (JHELC), a district prekindergarten program located in southeast Kansas. A quasi-experimental comparative design was used to examine 2017-2018 spring end-of-the-year benchmark assessments (i.e., early literacy, reading, and math) and other school performance outcome measures (i.e., disabilities, grade retention, attendance, and behavior referrals) for students from kindergarten to third grade. Students in the treatment group participated in the JHELC, which provided wraparound services to students including literacy, math, socioemotional instruction, and mental and health care services. The comparison group either received no early childhood education instruction or some other childcare arrangement. The current study had mixed findings showing that the JHELC had a moderate impact on the students who participated in the program. There were very few statistically significant differences between JHELC students and their comparison group peers in early literacy, reading, math, repeat discipline referrals, and grade retention. Additionally, the JHELC group had a significantly greater number of identified learning disabilities. However, JHELC students had significantly greater attendance than the comparison group. Subgroup analyses determined that gender, race, and socioeconomic status did affect the amount of benefit students received from the program. Future studies should investigate the contextual differences in the subgroups and the mechanisms that lead to the differences suggested in this evaluation study. Keywords: Early childhood education, program evaluation, kindergarten readiness, elementary school, AIMSweb assessments, wraparound intervention model, academic achievement, early literacy, reading, math, attendance, disabilities, grade retention, behavior
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology