Results that matter

Numerous formal evaluations of the YMCA Alternative Suspension program have consistently demonstrated that it:

  • Helps students develop resilience, autonomy and an ability to persevere at school;
  • motivates participants to stay in school and expands their social network;
  • helps students reduce problematic behaviour, avoid future disciplinary measures and improve their academic results. 

Watch a video testimonial from program participant Jordan



Problematic Behaviour

The program has a positive influence on 85% of participants in the medium-term and 50% of participants in the long-term.

“A significant proportion of the students referred to the program become more self-aware and conscious of the behaviour that has led to their suspension. These changes have produced quantifiable results. Given the profile of students referred to the program, the increase in school perseverance rates is notable.”

CAC International, an independent evaluation firm 


According to a recent impact study, our participants are much more likely to succeed in school. By the end of the school year, 44% of participants met or exceeded expected learning outcomes, compared to only 29% of members of a control group.    

“YMCA Alternative Suspension is important for our school. Out-of-school, at-home suspensions are not effective. Students need support to reflect on their behaviour and follow up on their learning.”

A school principal

Parent Involvement

More than 75% of parents of participants noticed a change in their child’s behaviour after the program, while more than 65% said that communication and collaboration with their child’s school had improved.

“My son, Anthony, was suspended because of his poor attendance record. He was angry, even sad about his suspension, but he eventually realized there were good reasons behind it and became aware of his responsibilities. He finished his school year and is going into grade ten next year. What a turnaround!”

Parent of a participant


Suspension and Disciplinary Action

School administrators report that participants tend to receive fewer disciplinary actions after attending the program. In fact, 65% of program participants were reported to have fewer disciplinary actions, compared to 40% of members of a control group.

“Students are supported by a qualified youth worker as they work on their goals and seriously contemplate their harmful behaviour. It is easier for a student to reflect on their situation when they are away from school.”

A school principal