Colleen Schlecht


Colleen Schlecht is a Researcher at Chapin Hall, where she focuses on evaluating programs to support vulnerable youth populations, including disconnected youth, youth transitioning to adulthood, and at-risk young children. Schlecht has experience with mixed methods studies and evaluations of programs in workforce development, coordinated early childhood care, home visiting, and child abuse and neglect prevention. Schlecht serves as the evaluator for the Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-Being and is evaluating an early learning initiative and parenting program in a low-resourced Chicago community.

Previously, Schlecht worked on a qualitative study of Chicago’s One Summer Chicago youth employment program and led the formative evaluation of the Department of Labor’s Opportunity Youth Demonstration and Evaluation. The latter led to two pilots that provided disconnected youth with employment-focused education and intense career navigation in two cities. Schlecht also helped lead the development, distribution, and analysis of the provider survey for the Voices of Youth Count (VoYC) initiative, a national research initiative focusing on the experiences of runaway and homeless youth. Prior to coming to Chapin Hall, Schlecht worked at the National Governors Association in Washington, DC.

Schlecht received her master’s in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University. She also holds a Project Management Strategy Certificate from the University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

Master of Public Policy, University of Chicago, Harris Graduate School of Public Policy

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies, Duke University

Dworsky, A., Schlecht, C., Curry, S., & Morton, M. (2018, January). Voices of Youth Count: Results from a national youth homelessness research and policy initiative. Paper presented at the SSWR 22nd Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

Lansing, J., Schlecht, C., & Rapoport, E. (2017, November). More than a paycheck: How a summer youth employment program helps emerging adults become change-makers of their own trajectories. Poster presented at the SSEA Biennial Conference, Washington, DC.

Weigensberg, E., & Schlecht, C. (2012, November). Innovative job training in technology: An evaluation of the Chicago Career Tech Workforce Development Program. Paper presented at the APPAM Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

Weigensberg, E., & Schlecht, C. (2012, January). Inside the black box: Identifying and measuring individual, organizational, and contextual factors of successful workforce development programs. Paper presented at the SSWR 16th Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

Allard, S. W., Wiegand, E. R., Schlecht, C., Datta, A. R., Goerge, R. M., & Weigensberg, E. (2018). State agencies’ use of administrative data for improved practices: Needs, challenges, and opportunities. Public Administration Review, 78(2), 240-250.

Koball, H., Dodkowitz, A., Schlecht, C., & Guiltinan, S. (2016). Opportunities Youth demonstration and evaluation. Outcomes evaluation: Findings from pilot sites in Baltimore and Boston. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Meyer, K., Schlecht C., & Sherman, B. (2010). Challenges and current practices in state employee healthcare: A NASPE white paper. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.

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