The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study was designed to produce rigorous evidence for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers about the effectiveness of nine career pathways approaches that sought to increase credentials, employment, and self-sufficiency among low-income, low-skilled Americans. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, PACE included nine program-specific evaluation reports. The study was led by Abt Associates, in partnership with MEF Associates, The Urban Institute and the University of Michigan.
Each program-specific evaluation included an implementation study that examined the design and operation of the program and enrolled students’ participation patterns, and an impact study that used an experimental design to measure differences in educational and employment outcomes between individuals randomly assigned to a group that could receive services from the PACE program (treatment group) and a group that could not but could participate in other services in the community (control group). Program impacts were measured 18 to 24 months following random assignment, depending on the program. Follow-up studies will measure impacts three and six years after random assignment, and will include cost-benefit analyses.