What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report, 2006.
"Talent Search" aims to help low-income and first-generation college students (those whose parents do not have four-year college degrees) complete high school and gain access to college through a combination of services designed to improve academic achievement and increase access to financial aid. Services include test taking and study skills assistance, academic advising, tutoring, career development, college campus visits, and financial aid application assistance. Two studies of "Talent Search"--both included in the same report--met What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards with reservations--one conducted in Texas and another in Florida. The Texas study involved 10 "Talent Search" projects (each serving 10-20 high schools) and 4,027 participants, who were matched to 30,842 nonparticipants from the same high schools based on propensity scoring methods that matched students on 18 demographic, socioeconomic, and academic characteristics. The Florida study involved five Talent Search projects (each serving 10-20 high schools) and 900 participants, who were matched to 42,514 nonparticipants from the same high schools using propensity scoring methods that matched students on 13 demographic, socioeconomic, and academic characteristics. For both the Texas and Florida samples, statistical tests found that treatment and comparison group samples were not statistically different at the 0.05 level on any of the demographic or academic measures used in the matching procedures. In both states, the study focused on participants who were ninth graders in the fall of the 1995-96 school year. "Talent Search" was found to have potentially positive effects on completing school. (Contains 6 tables and 7 footnotes.) [This publication was produced by the What Works Clearinghouse. The following study is reviewed in this intervention report: Constantine, J. M., Seftor, N. S., Martin, E. S., Silva, T., & Myers, D. (2006). A study of the effect of the Talent Search program on secondary and postsecondary outcomes in Florida, Indiana, and Texas: Final report from phase II of the national evaluation. Report prepared by Mathematica Policy Research for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.]