At HealthCorps we have developed three levels of research to accomplish two goals. First, we will demonstrate how our program is working, and second, we will share best practices and innovative ideas with the public through publications of studies and findings. Combined, these programs constitute our Living Laboratory-the first of its kind with a cohort of approximately 35,000 students from across multiple demographic groups including ethnic, regional and gender. Through our research, we will be able to examine the effects of shifts in policy, both at the local level and the regional or state level.
The impact research looks at several as important components of the program focused on how many individuals the program touches and influences. Because the program has a strong social marketing component in school, at home and in the community, it is important to examine the total impact.
Impact metrics that we track are numbers in individuals:
- Students directly impacted
- Students indirectly impacted
- Family members directly impacted
- Family members indirectly impacted
- Community members directly impacted
- Community members indirectly impacted
As a secondary assessment tool-beyond impact numbers-we use behavioral surveys to examine the effect our program is having on individuals and the student body. We conduct surveys in schools across the country and will use these data to support the work we do, adjust our curriculum and share best practices from our Living Laboratory.
Testing New Ideas
- Knowledge Test
- Healthy Habits Survey (examining behavioral changes including eating, physical activity leadership)
- Teen Battle Chef Survey (examining leadership changes and practical culinary skills)
In our Living Laboratory we will be conducting research in small groups of schools to validate our curriculum and program components as well as to test new curriculum, demonstrate physiological changes and a variety of other scientific and behavioral hypotheses. Our work will be in collaboration with established research institutions such as Columbia School of Public Health, UC Davis CRESS Center and the Samueli Institute.
HealthCorps’ Youth Led Action Research (YLAR)
YLAR is a youth engagement program to get students socially active by having them to addressing health and wellness needs in their schools and communities. Led by HealthCorps Coordinators, the program consists of three main steps:
- Students assess and analyze the health and wellness needs of their school/community
- Students develop a practical solution plan to address the needs
- Student implement their plan by engaging other students, school officials and stakeholders in the community
- Students develop critical thinking skills
- Students identify issues in their community
- Students develop leadership skills
- Students make an impact benefits family, friends and neighbors
- Students gain a sense of accomplishment
- Community and school gardens
- Health fairs
- Bodega makeovers
- Addressing food deserts