Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement

Program basics

  • Individualized coaching for low-income students to review financial need and academic and employment goals
  • Academic instruction for 16 weeks teaching skills in math, reading and writing
  • Mandatory weekly group or individual counseling
  • Financial assistance for college entrance exam testing, tuition, course-related expenses, transportation, and childcare related to attending school
  • Information on in-demand jobs in the area

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Promising (Third-highest tier)

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Promising (Third-highest tier)

Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement is not yet in any of the major clearinghouses but has demonstrated positive results in an independent, high-quality evaluation conducted by ____


Target population

Students enrolled in post-secondary education

Program cost

Approximately $13,750 per participant over an average of two and a half years

Implementation locations

  • Texas

Dates active

1995–Present

Outcomes and impact

  • Indeterminate effect on GPA, enrollment, and credit accumulation

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review.
  • Project necessary funding and identify funding sources for each new participant prior to enrollment.
  • Provide frequent (weekly) job counseling and make it mandatory for participants, including tracking attendance and withholding tuition assistance if necessary.
  • Plan to offset costs associated with enrolling in fulltime job training, including childcare and transportation.
  • Clearly articulate expectations to each potential participant before enrollment, given the program is a significant commitment. VIDA’s standards include: maintaining full-time enrollment in training, achieving passing grades, and participating in weekly counseling sessions.
  • Frame financial support as an incentive to participate, rather than as the service itself. This is key for both attracting and retaining participants.
  • Commit to providing financial assistance for the entirety of a participant’s enrollment in the program, giving them certainty around their future ability to afford participation.
  • Offer financial assistance and counseling as a package, rather than as independent services. They are mutually-reinforcing components of a successful program – even though participants may more readily embrace the financial element.

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