Vanderbilt University’s National Center on Performance Incentives (NCPI) Partners with uBoost

Honolulu, HI (PRWEB) September 23, 2009 — uBoost has announced a partnership with Vanderbilt University’s National Center on Performance Incentives (NCPI). Through the partnership, uBoost will operate its student recognition and rewards program as part of a research effort targeted at determining how incremental recognition and rewards impact student attendance, program completion and performance in federally-funded after-school tutoring programs, namely supplemental education services (SES).

In a 2009 study, Vanderbilt researchers reported that SES had a significant, positive effect on test score gains in both mathematics and reading for those students who attended most of their tutoring sessions.

However, even though the number of students eligible for tutoring has increased dramatically nationwide since the 2002-03 school year, enrollment as a total percentage of eligible students continues to fall well short of expectations. A Government Accountability Office report indicates that less than one in five eligible students actually enrolled in SES during the 2004-05 school year. Moreover, of those students who did enroll, only a small percentage actually attended at least one tutoring session.

Some stakeholders believe that students lack appropriate incentives to attend, an issue that the research study conducted by uBoost and the NCPI will inform.

Under the proposed study, students and their parents will receive rewards for student attendance, and their outcomes will be compared with a control group to measure the incentives impact on attendance, parental involvement, and student performance. The program and its results will be monitored and evaluated by a team of experienced research and policy experts, including specialists in social and behavioral science, statistical analysis, economic theory, and policy analysis.

"This study proposes to evaluate the impact of various financial incentive interventions for student attendance in SES using a randomized controlled trial design. uBoost’s rewards and recognition platform will enable us to not only facilitate timely access to rewards for students, but to do so in a way that is both relevant to the student and very efficient for educators," says Matthew Springer, the director of the National Center on Performance Incentives and a research assistant professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

"Previous studies have shown that students benefit from SES and uBoost has a history of increasing student attendance, engagement and achievement. We look forward to having a positive impact on students’ education through the pilot programs administered by Vanderbilt." says John Bower, CEO of uBoost.

About NCPI

Established in 2006 through a $10 million, five-year research and development grant from the United States Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, NCPI conducts independent and scientific studies on the individual and institutional effects of performance incentives in education. NCPI, a state and local policy research and development center, is part of the Peabody Center for Education Policy and housed in the Learning Sciences Institute on the campus of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, one of the nation’s top five schools of education.

NCPI joins the National Research and Development Center on School Choice at Peabody College, making Peabody the only institution in the nation to house two national research and development centers funded by the Institute of Education Sciences.

About uBoost

uBoost is an online performance recognition and rewards platform where points are awarded for positive behaviors and redeemed for relevant rewards. uBoost works across all age groups, curricula, and achievement levels and offers educators an innovative way to recognize incremental improvement.

Recognition in the form of points, performance-based honor badges, and a coveted spot on achiever leader-boards encourages students to put forth maximum effort. Students are able to choose from a catalog containing thousands of rewards choices (from $.01 to $200.00) thereby ensuring that there is something that interests and motivates them. Students can redeem their points for merchandise and gift cards; support their favorite charitable cause; customize their own safe, virtual environment; or participate in contests to win premium rewards such as iPods and gift cards. To maintain engagement, uBoost continues to offer new rewards and contests to keep up with students’ changing interests and to ensure relevance throughout the school year.

uBoost partners with publishers, district administrators, online schools, tutoring companies, and private education companies to design and implement student recognition and rewards programs.

For more information, visit or call 808.377.4810.

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at