Random-Controlled Trial: The RWJF Project

Beginning in August of 2019, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Evidence for Action program funded a Random-Controlled Trial (RCT) study of the effects and impacts of youth participation in the EYPC program as delivered by high school civics teachers in rural schools as part of their normal civics class. This study is being led by Dr. Jennifer Hamilton at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago in collaboration with Dr. Scott Hays, developer of EYPC.

This random-controlled trial (RCT) creates the gold-standard in research design. This project involves recruiting rural high schools from selected states across the country, including Illinois, to participate in the study.

Schools which agree to participate in the study are subsequently assigned as “treatment” schools which deliver the EYPC program in the next semester, and “control” schools which are monitored in the next semester as they deliver “civics as usual” course content using similar evaluation assessment tools. These schools may delay the implementation of EYPC until after their role as a “control” school is complete.

Simply for agreeing to participate and signing a Memorandum of Understanding, schools are paid a $300 incentive payment. Each classroom that participates in implementing EYPC is eligible for an additional incentive payment exceeding $300 as they complete various phases of implementation and assessment. A single school may have up to 3 participating classrooms.