Many cities are home to a large number of young adults who have not finished school, and lack a clear pathway to do so. In response, a growing number of cities have put specific strategies in place for youth and young adults aged 16 to 24. These efforts include the establishment of one-stop reengagement centers or virtual equivalents that offer a range of services, including referrals to school completion options and support to re-enroll.

As the Reengagement Network hub, NLC assists cities in exploring and pursuing reengagement policy and programming through:

  • Technical assistance for strategy and goal setting
  • Guidance as to best use of an extensive library of examples and models
  • Referrals to peers and consultants
  • Assisting cities with adoption of the common accountability framework
  • Facilitating Network conference calls and in-person meetings
  • Collaborating with city leaders to create the annual Reengagement Plus! Convening
Reengagement Network


The network helps participants stay informed about developments in the reengagement field and share their insights with others through communities. The network provides technical assistance to members and arranges quarterly conference calls and chances to convene with others.

Join the Reengagement Network



See examples of reengagement in action! Through various models and methods, organizations and school districts are reaching young people who have left school and connecting them to solutions to meet their unique needs and circumstances. Follow the links below to see more examples from around the country.

The DC Reengagement Center is one example of a one stop center that provides wraparound supports to young people age 16 to 24 who have left school without a high school diploma or GED. 

Other examples:

Reengage Dubuque

SOAR ReEngagement Center Chicago

Tacoma Public Schools


Network participants come from reengagement program sponsors or host agencies including city departments, school districts, nonprofit organizations and community colleges.

Annual Reengagement Census

The National League of Cities conducts an Annual Reengagement Census to collect data from reengagement centers or programs. Click below to view aggregate results from each recent census.

In 2016, the Reengagement Network programs reached out to 55,789 disengaged students and initially enrolled 31,637, which led to placements for 19,816 students. 67.5% of youth who enrolled were making progress or had completed a credential at the end of the year. To see the data on all 55,000 students, refer to the 2015-16 Census and the Washington State Addendum documents. Data collection and analysis for a 2016-2017 Census is now underway.

2016- 17 Census

2015-16 Census Washington State Addendum

2015-16 Census

2014-15 Census

2013-14 Census



Return on Reengagement Investment Tool

The Return on Investment Tool helps city and state policymakers, and educators quantify the impact of reengagement investments.  Combining calculations by prominent labor economists of savings and foregone costs, with census data from reengagement centers, leads to estimates of short- and long-term returns. Users may modify the tool to use their own budget, student graduation and funding data.

Reengagement: Bringing Students Back to America's Schools

Written by practitioners, policy analysts, and young people, the book Reengagement: Bringing Students Back to America’s Schools captures current experience and unresolved issues in the reengagement field. Read the Reengagement Book Press Release or Order a Copy.


Reengagement Policy Brief: Cities Setting Goals for Opportunity Youth

This Policy Brief discusses cities in the Reengagement Network who set or refreshed ambitious goals for reengaging disconnected 16 to 24-year-olds by the year 2020. How are goals set, what are strategies cities used to improve outcomes, and who sets goals?

NLC Municipal Action Guide

The Municipal Action Guide offers an overview of policy, strategies, tools, and examples of reengagement options cities are using to reconnect young people to education and opportunity.  

Citiesspeak Blog Posts

The official NLC blog regularly includes posts that highlight the latest in reengagement efforts around the county.

Reengagement Clearinghouse (GoogleSite)

Network members and NLC staff regularly post new and relevant examples, articles, tools, and policies to this shared website.

Bringing Students Back to the Center Report

This 2014 report from the US Department of Education offers case studies of local efforts to implement and enhance reengagement efforts.

Measure of America Disconnected Youth 2017 Data Website

This website is a visualization of the information contained in Measure of America's latest report and contains maps and information on youth disconnection rates using census data.

Building a Grad Nation Report

Authored by America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises & Everyone Graduates Center, the Building a Grad Nation annual report explores progress and challenges faced in raising high school graduation rates around the country.

Partner organizations

Annie E. Casey Foundation – LEAP

Aspen Forum for Community Solutions

Gateway to College National Network

Jobs for the Future Back on Track

Reaching At-Promise Student Association (RAPSA)

Youth Transition Funders Group