Public Lands Service Corps (PLSC) Evaluation – 2013

Prepared by: Mat Duerden, Michael Edwards, & Telyn Peterson from Brigham Young University and North Carolina State University

The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the impact of the Corps experience on participants in terms of targeted outcomes (e.g., civic engagement, leadership, etc.), their intentions to pursue additional education, and their confidence to obtain employment. Statistically significant increases were observed across all outcome measures in contrast to the general population comparison group.

The evaluation strategy was developed collaboratively by leaders from the involved corps organizations and researchers at Brigham Young University and North Carolina State University. The purpose of the evaluation was to build upon previous corps-related evaluation efforts by assessing the impact of the corps experience on participants in terms of targeted outcomes (e.g., civic engagement, leadership, etc.), their intentions to pursue additional education, and their confidence to obtain employment. The evaluation also looked at the association between demographic and program characteristics with the experience on participants.

Statistically significant increases were observed across all outcome measures in contrast to the general population comparison group (see Figure 1). The greatest growth occurred on the Teamwork, Community Engagement, Leadership, and Environmental Engagement measures. Results also indicated younger participants (under 18) experienced significantly more growth in Environmental Engagement, Teamwork, Self Responsibility, Critical Thinking, and Communication than older participants.

Participants were also asked about the overall importance they ascribed to various program components. On average, opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills were most important to corps participants. Opportunities to gain more education and the quality of provided equipment were perceived as less important.

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