For the review, researchers compiled information on studies conducted between April 2008 and June 2011 that offered direct measures of students' post-high school outcomes as evidence of the program's effectiveness. That restriction meant that the report authors, by design, did not include studies that offered indirect assessments, such as "vocational self-awareness" or job satisfaction. Only 43 studies conducted in that time frame met the standard.
The research found that community-based work programs were found to have potentially positive effects on postsecondary education outcomes, though the effect on students' employment outcomes were mixed. Functional life skills development programs had potentially positive effects on independent living outcomes.