Two-year program evaluation of the Jumpstart program in New York City

Sara Vecchiotti, Fordham University


This dissertation is a formative evaluation focusing on the implementation of the Jumpstart program during its first two years in New York City. The evaluation provided immediate feedback to inform program practice and assessed Jumpstart's achievements and challenges in fulfilling the program's main goals of; (1) Ensuring preschool children's school success; (2) Encouraging college students to become future teachers; and (3) Providing parents with resources to involve them in their children's early education. The dissertation also compared methods of statistical analysis, specifically paired and independent t-tests, multivariate analysis, and individual growth curve modeling in order to determine which method is most useful to use with small samples. The evaluation used a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods including standardized and program-specific measures, as well as focus groups. Information was collected from Jumpstart staff who planned and implemented the program (Team Leaders and Corps Members) and the children and parents who participated in the program. Results indicated that the Jumpstart program was implemented well, but recommendations were made to help improve Jumpstart practices. For example, Corps Members and Team Leaders described the training they received as effective, but also recommended that their training should be separate in order to provide training specific to the roles and duties of Corps Members and Team Leaders. Results found that Jumpstart children were not performing better than a Comparison group on a standard measure of school readiness skills, indicating that Jumpstart was reaching the target children, those most vulnerable to school failure within the Head Start population. Also, Corps Members and Team Leaders indicated that Jumpstart positively influenced their commitment to a future teaching career. They also reported that their Jumpstart experience contributed to their personal and professional development. Parents were satisfied with the program and attributed Jumpstart's efforts to improvements in the children's school readiness skills. Individual growth curve modeling maximizes all the data collected thereby increasing its utility to analyze data from small samples. Lessons learned for program evaluations of early education programs, as well as topics for future development research and future program evaluations of Jumpstart are provided.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Preschool education

Recommended Citation

Vecchiotti, Sara, "Two-year program evaluation of the Jumpstart program in New York City" (2004). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3125031.