|Principal Investigator:||Christopher T. King, Ph.D|
|Sponsor(s):||Literacy Coalition of Central Texas and Houston Center for Literacy|
|Project Duration:||July 2016 -September 2017
|Description:||The Ray Marshall Center (RMC), with support from the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas (LCCT), will conduct an evaluation of English@Work’s benefits and costs for participating employers, a required component of LCCT’s grant from the Houston Center for Literacy-English@Work which was launched as a small nonprofit in Austin in 2005 and was subsumed by the LCCT in January 2014, is a unique approach to teaching English-language skills by contextualizing, customizing, and providing them in the workplace. Early results indicated that this approach substantially outperformed more traditional approaches that rely heavily on classroom instruction, provide few hours of actual instruction per week, and/or fail to contextualize and tailor instruction in the setting and language of the workplace. Students made larger gains on various literacy measure more quickly than these more traditional approaches. And, students indicated that they felt more motivated to learn in a cohort of their peers that was situated within their workplace. After three years evolving and growing under the auspices of the LCCT, the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) Site-based Workplace Literacy Project has provided grant funding to scale up English@Work in Austin and expand it to the Houston area over the period from May 2016 to June 2017. The grant from TWC will support literacy and career services for more than 700 participants and plans to provide credentials or certificates of completion for around 490 of these participants over the grant period.
The RMC evaluation will address two questions, as follows:
This evaluation strives to capture near-term outcomes and ROI for employers whose employees receive English@Work services within the resources available to the grant. Outcomes will largely be based on employer perceptions of the results within a relatively immediate timeframe. A more comprehensive evaluation is planned for the future if additional funding can be secured.