MPP, University of Chicago
Researcher, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

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.