As Wisconsin Promise comes to an end, we learned several key lessons along the way. We always knew our Promise Youth were awesome, and now we have the data to support it.
Those who met with a Work Incentives Benefit Specialist had three times as many jobs.
Those who met with a financial coach had five times as many jobs.
83% of those who had an Individual Development Account (IDA, matched savings account) were more likely to be employed.
What does this mean?
We learned a lot!
- It’s important for youth with disabilities to have paid work experience while in high school.
- Most Promise youth and families preferred benefits and financial counseling on an ongoing basis instead of receiving all the information at once.
- Youth had higher employment rates when they and their families had higher expectations to what is possible to achieve after high school and who received training about how to access needed resources and services.
Want to learn more?
There are more results and recommendations.
Wisconsin Promise Stories
Read Promise Articles
Demographic and transition service predictors of employment outcomes for youth receiving supplemental security income.Source: Hartman, E.C., Jones, W., Friefeld Kesselmayer, R., Brinck, E., Trainor, A., Reinhard, A., Fuller, R., Schlegelmilch, A., & Anderson, C.A. (2021). Demographic and transition service predictors of employment outcomes for youth receiving supplemental security income. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals.
Building a Management Information System with Inter-Agency Data Sharing to Improve Data-Based Decision Making Across Systems: Experiences From Wisconsin PROMISESource: Guentherman, M., Hartman, E., Schlegelmilch, A., Brinck, E.A., & Anderson, C.A. (2020). Building a management information system with inter-agency data sharing to improve data-based decision making across systems: Experiences from Wisconsin PROMISE. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin.
The impact of work incentives benefits counseling on employment outcomes of transition-age youth receiving supplemental security income (SSI) benefits.Source: Schlegelmilch, A., Roskowski, M., Anderson, C., Hartman, E., & Decker-Mauer, H. (2019). The impact of work incentives benefits counseling on employment outcomes of transition-age youth receiving supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 127-136.
The Relationship Among Demographic Factors, Transition Services, and Individual Development Account (IDA) Saving Participation Among Transition-Age Youth with DisabilitiesSource: Jones, W.D., Phillips, B.N., Hartman, E., Bishop, M., Tansey, T., & Anderson, C. (2020). The relationship among demographic factors, transition services, and Individual Development Account (IDA) saving participation among transition-age youth with disabilities. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin.
Understanding PROMISE Participation Transition Experiences Using Qualitative Data: Reflections on Accessing Services and Employment OutcomesSource: Schlegelmilch, A., Anderson, C.A., Brinck, E.A., Roskowski, M., Trainor, A., & Hartman, E. (2020). Understanding PROMISE participant transition experiences using qualitative data: Reflections on accessing services and employment outcomes. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin.
Psychometric Validation of a Measure Assessing Functional Limitations of Students with Disabilities: An Adaptation of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0
Source: Umucu, E., Schlegelmilch, A., Brinck, E., Hartman, El., Iwanaga, K., Estala, V., Roskowski, M., Lee, B., Anderson, C., & Tansey, T. (2020). Psychometric validation of a measure assessing functional limitations of students with disabilities: An adaptation of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin.
Stages of Change Scale to Measure Work Readiness of Transition-Age Youth With Disabilities: A Promising Approach
Source: Schlegelmilch, A., Roskowski, M., Brinck, E.A., Anderson, C.A., Hartman, E., Chan, F., Tansey, T., & Decker- Maurer. (2020). Stages of change scale to measure work readiness of transition-age youth with disabilities: A promising approach. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin.
Technology and Communication Considerations for Engaging Youth Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Perspectives.
Source: Anderson, C., Brinck, E.A., Trainor, A., Schlegelmilch, A., Roskowski, M., & Hartman, E. (2021). Technology and communication considerations for engaging youth receiving supplemental security income (SSI) benefits: Vocational rehabilitation counselor perspectives. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin.
Source: Anderson, C., Brinck, E.A., Trainor, A., Hartman, E.C., Schlegelmilch, A., & Roskowski, M. (2021). Connecting youth receiving SSI to transition services: The role and perspective of family advocates. Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Journal.
Read PROMISE findings from all six PROMISE projects:
- Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation PROMISE Special Issue
- Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals - Special Series: Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE): Lessons Learned to Support Transition Services and Programs
- Coming soon… Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin Wisconsin PROMISE Special Issue
Also see federal research on PROMISE available:
- From the national researcher Mathematica
- From the federal research funder Social Security Administration (SSA)
- And additional information available from the funder of the PROMISE demonstration projects, the Department of Education PROMISE website:
Wisconsin Promise Focus Group Report
For more information about conversations with Promise DVR Counselors about what is working with Promise and what some of the challenges are, read our focus group report.
This report was created by the Wisconsin Promise State Formative Evaluation Team with Dr. Audrey Trainor and Dr. Cayte Anderson as leads. The team conducted focus groups with Wisconsin Promise DVR Staff and this report summarizes the results. The themes of what the Wisconsin Promise Staff have learned, particularly about youth and family engagement to date, are well highlighted with lessons learned that have application for Promise, vocational rehabilitation, and other partner agencies.