Tulsa Carrera Program

Holistic evidence-based comprehensive programming for teens

Developed in 1984 by Dr. Michael A. Carrera and The Children’s Aid Society (CAS), the CAS-Carrera program is a “top-tier” evidenced-based, primary adolescent pregnancy prevention program. It is only one of two models backed by well-conducted randomized controlled trials showing a sustained impact on reducing teen pregnancy rates. This intensive prevention program provides a full array of services, from tutors to mental health counselors and healthcare. The goal is to help young people avoid becoming parents during the second decade of their lives. The program is guided by a philosophy that sees youth as “at promise” and not “at risk”; its holistic, “above the waist” approach seeks to develop a participant’s capacity and desire to not only avoid early pregnancy, but to break the cycle of poverty and despair. 

In 2011, a unique partnership was forged between the Children’s Aid Society (CAS)-Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, Union Public Schools (UPS), the Community Service Council (CSC), and the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) to implement the Tulsa Carrera Program at Union Public Schools. This integrated school model provides an extraordinary opportunity to provide intensive, year-round academic, emotional, and social support for participating students. The Tulsa Carrera Program began with an incoming class cohort of 200 6th grade students and is currently serving approximately 1,200 students in grades 6-11, in the 2016-2017 academic school year.

News & Highlights

More than 1,200 6th-11th graders are currently participating in our program at Union Public Schools
An analysis in Fall 2015 showed the following positive results in key areas:

VISION CARE: Students having an eye exam within the past year increased 78% to 80%
DENTAL CARE: Students receiving dental care within the past year increased 82% to 84%
EMERGENCY ROOM USE: Use of hospital ER as only source of health care down 11% to 8%
MONEY MANAGEMENT: More students report having a bank account, from 37% to 97%
FINANCIAL LITERACY: Student knowledge scores improved 34% to 97%
SEXUAL & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: Student knowledge scores improved 27% to 69%

7 Fundamental Components


Essential Elements/Milestones
All teens receiving academic support will have an Individual Academic Plan
Young people with specific academic needs will receive a minimum of one hour of homework help, tutoring, enrichment, and/or remediation  
Academic maintenance activities occur during the summer months and all teens participate in project based learning activities 

Employment/Job Club

Essential Elements/Milestones
Each young person opens and maintains a savings account
Each young person earns a stipend for Job Club participation
Bank trips are scheduled to enhance lessons on banking
Entrepreneurial activities leading to an understanding of small business ownership
Community service opportunities are cultivated
Career exploration occurs over the life-span of the program

Family Life and Sexuality Education (FLSE)

Essential Elements/Milestones
Weekly education sessions throughout the year through the implementation of medically accurate curricula
Emphasis on abstinence throughout curriculum
Encouraging young people to talk with their parents about sexuality
Reproductive health counseling and care as needed

Self Expression

Essential Elements/Milestones
Activities include: music, dance, theater, acting, fine arts, sculpture, collage, painting and drawing
Opportunities for project-based activities

Lifetime Individual Sports

Essential Elements/Milestones
Young people learn skills in various lifetime sports such as golf, tennis, chess and swimming
Young people are exposed to at least two Lifetime Individual Sports during the program year

Vision, Dental and Medical Support

Essential Elements/Milestones:
Comprehensive Physical and Oral Exams
Identification of Primary Health Care Provider
Health Education
Specialty follow-up as needed
Urgent Care visits 

Mental Health Services

Essential Elements/Milestones
Licensed Masters-level Social Workers and Licensed Professional Counselors
Weekly participation in Power Group 

Recent Results

Our most recent data analysis shows a broad range of statistically significant positive youth outcomes and strong trendlines that reflect the early impact of robust programming on youth served in Tulsa, as well as areas of ongoing emphasis. This data collection serves not only to assist in benchmarking program success but as an important indication of the needs of students served at UPS as Tulsa Carrera Program is only serving a portion of the total grades.

Evaluation Process

Consistent with best practices, the program developer CAS-Carrera utilizes ongoing, independent evaluation, conducted by Philliber Research Associates, to assess overall program results. Progress toward milestones in each component are monitored and reported every twelve months. Evaluation staff administer a follow-up survey designed to measure a range of program outcomes, including: access to health care, employment, school progress, avoidance of drug use, avoidance of early sexual activity and/or pregnancy, avoidance of involvement in the juvenile justice system.

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