Check & Connect

Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Promising Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Adolescents, Children
Academic Performance, Antisocial Behavior, Behavioral Problems, Communication, Emotional Competency, Relationships, Social Competency
Target Audience 

This program is for students in kindergarten through 12th grade who are in general or special education classes and are at risk for dropping out of school.


Check & Connect, a comprehensive, school-based student engagement program, is designed to improve participants' academic performance, behavior, and attendance by matching students with trained mentors who work directly with students.


Randomized controlled trials have found significant increases up to 4 years after program implementation on students’ participation in school and school performance when compared to control students, significant decreases in drop-out rates at the end of high school, and significant increases in students’ participation with their transition plans in their Individualized Education Programs in comparison to control students.  Studies have been conducted on elementary school students; however, results are unclear due to study design.


Check & Connect creates partnerships among the school, home, and family using four primary components that are designed to enhance students' engagement in school.

  • Mentor:  Develop a positive, trusting relationship with students and help to make education a priority in the student’s life for at least 2 years;
  • Check:  Monitor school attendance, behavioral issues, and academic performance;
  • Connect:  Provide timely individualized intervention based on the student’s need; and
  • Home-school communication:  Enhance the communication between the school and the student’s home in order to increase home support for learning.

These four components work to counter student risk factors that may lead to low academic performance, dropping out of school, and anti-social behavior.

Previous Use 

Check & Connect, developed by the University of Minnesota in the 1990s, has been used in 27 states in the United States and internationally.


Off-site, 2-day Preparation and Implementation, Mentor, and Comprehensive Implementation training workshops are available.  Workshops cost $575 per person and include a manual and other printed resource materials.  On-site training options are also available, and cost depends on number of participants.  Please visit for more information.  


Considerations for implementing the Check & Connect program include acquiring administrative and participant buy-in, ensuring facilitators can receive training, and finding time for mentors and students to be together during an existing daily schedule.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


If you are interested in implementing Check & Connect, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you!
Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


This program operates throughout the school year, and mentors typically maintain their caseloads for a minimum of 2 years.


Costs for implementing Check & Connect vary based on location and number of mentors and participants.  The manual and supporting materials are included in the training costs or can be purchased separately.  The manual costs $50 each.  

Evaluation Plan 

To move the Check & Connect program to the Effective category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence at least one external evaluation must be conducted that demonstrates sustained positive outcomes.  This study must be conducted independently of the program developer.

The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals.
Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program.
Phone: 1-877-382-9185 Email:

You may also contact Check & Connect by mail Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, 150 Pillsbury Drive SE, 6 Pattee Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55455, phone 1-866-434-0010, email or visit

References - Used For Placement 

Maynard, B. R., Kjellstrand, E. K., & Thompson, A. M. (2013). Effects of Check and Connect on attendance, behavior, and academics: A randomized effectiveness trial. Research on Social Work Practice, 24, 296-309.

Sinclair, M. F., Christenson, S. L., & Thurlow, M. L. (2005).  Promoting school completion of urban secondary youth with emotional or behavioral disabilities.  Exceptional Children, 71,

Sinclair, M. F., Christenson, S. L., Evelo, D. L., & Hurley, C. M. (1998).  Dropout prevention for youth with disabilities:  Efficacy of a sustained school engagement procedure.  Exceptional Children, 65, 7-21.

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.