Using Evidence-Based Practices to Improve Behavior at MTC Job Corps Centers

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MTC’s Vice President of Education & Training Dave Doty explains the company’s new evidence-based approach to behavior management at Job Corps centers. The model has shown great results at other institutions. Dr. Doty explains,

One of the evidence-based practices that we are excited to be implementing at our Job Corps centers is something called Positive Behavior Intervention and Support. This is an evidenced-based approach to improving student culture and improving center culture, and most importantly improving student behavior, so that students can succeed in the program, finish the program, and develop the kind of social and emotional skills and employability skills they need to succeed on the job when they leave Job Corps. This approach has been implemented successfully in public schools all over the country, even in some juvenile correction facilities. It’s also a practice that’s being recommended to the national office of Job Corps as a very successful strategy. It really involves three components:

  1. Defining the norms and behaviors one would like to see on the center.
  2. Explicitly teaching those behaviors so that students really know what to do. In other words, viewing behavior as a skill that needs to be learned and practiced.
  3. And third, rather than punishing students for inappropriate behaviors, rewarding and incentivizing them for engaging in these positive behaviors.

We have already seen some great success with this approach at one of our centers, the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Center in Kentucky. By implementing this approach, as well as doing some other things over the past couple of years, they have risen in the national rankings from 96 to in to the top 50. So, we’re very excited about their success and hope to see this at other centers in the near future.