Providing Educational Services and Support to Expectant and Parenting Teen Students

The Education Leading to Employment and Career Training (ELECT) Initiative – a Pennsylvania Department of Education initiative funded by the Department of Human Services – provides pregnant and parenting teens with guidance and services designed to break the cycle of welfare dependence through goal setting, fostering self-sufficiency, building healthy relationships, and obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent.

There are 27 ELECT programs across the commonwealth. Their services are available to students ages 22 and younger* who:

  • attend any PDE approved educational entity,
  • are pregnant, expecting, and/or parenting (male or female),
  • receive TANF benefits, or
  • have a personal monthly earned income that does not exceed 235 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guideline (FPIG).

*Participants turning 22 years old while attending their senior year of high school may remain in the ELECT program until the end of their senior year. However, HSE students are not eligible to remain in ELECT upon turning 22 years of age.

Designed to meet the changing needs of pregnant and parenting teens, the ELECT Initiative uses group and one-on-one approaches to meet each student’s unique needs.

ELECT programs offer a wide variety of year-round programming and services to participants via one-on-one case management, group education and/or resources, including but not limited to:

  • Academic support
    • Academic tutoring, mentoring and homework assistance
    • Attendance tracking and improvement plans
    • Grade report monitoring and improvement plans
    • Incentives and ongoing personal accountability
    • Access to child care and transportation
    • Motivation Interview (MI)
      • Needs assessment
      • Goal Setting (S.M.A.R.T)
  • Retrieval services for pregnant/parenting teens who have dropped out
    • Re-enrollment in school or HSE program
    • Enrollment in ELECT to provide academic support and additional services
  • Intensive individual case management
  • Educational group sessions 
  • Guest speakers, field trips and activities
    • Prenatal and sexual health
    • Secondary pregnancy prevention
    • Child development and parenting skills
    • Co-parenting and healthy relationships
    • Personal finance and family budgeting
    • Personal health and well-being
    • Health care and nutrition
    • Domestic violence and substance abuse
    • Vocational, career and job readiness training
    • Post-secondary education exploration, financial aid and college prep

Per Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) ELECT Operational Guidelines, all programs are expected to meet or exceed the following outcomes:

  • 75% program retention rate for participants
  • 75% maintain or improve their grade point average (GPA)
  • 75% school attendance
  • 85% do not have repeat pregnancy
  • 75% graduation rate for seniors