Alan L. Melchior

Senior Fellow

Alan L. Melchior's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 343
Phone: 781-736-3775
Brandeis Directory


Evaluation of youth development and education programs; special focus on service-learning and civic engagement, informal education, informal STEM education, and college access and completion.


  • Brandeis University
  • Brandeis University

Alan L. Melchior

Senior Fellow


Alan Melchior is the Associate Director and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Youth and Communities at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. He brings over twenty-five years of experience managing a wide variety of policy, evaluation, and technical assistance and training initiatives in the fields of youth, workforce, and community development.

Mr. Melchior is a nationally-recognized researcher in the field of service-learning and community engagement with nearly 20 years of experience evaluating school, community, and higher education-based service-learning programs. Major projects have included the national evaluations of the Serve-America and Learn and Serve America programs for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); studies of the institutionalization of service-learning for the CNCS and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and evaluations of national and regional service-learning programs. With colleagues at Abt Associates and Brandeis he helped design and manage the national Learn and Serve America program reporting system (LASSIE) from 2003-2013.

Mr. Melchior has also served as the lead evaluation partner for the FIRST robotics programs since 2002 and has conducted more than a dozen studies of FIRST’s national after-school robotics programs (FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST LEGO League). He currently leads a multi-year longitudinal impact study of FIRST programs that is tracking over 1200 FIRST participants and comparison students over a five year period to assess the program’s impacts on STEM-related attitudes and educational and career choices. Other STEM-related work includes an evaluation of an initiative aimed at increase the capacity of public libraries to serve as STEM resources in their communities, evaluation of a national program aimed at engaging young women in computer science, and ongoing evaluation work with Earth Force, a national environmental education and service-learning initiative.

Mr. Melchior’s recent work has also included several studies focused on postsecondary access and completion. Projects include the evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success Initiative and YouthBuild’s SIF-funded Pathways to Postsecondary Initiative, two multi-site efforts to build partnerships between community-based organizations and community colleges to improve access to and success in postsecondary education for opportunity youth. With colleagues at Brandeis, he is also serving as an evaluation advisor for the GreenLight Fund’s SIF initiative, providing evaluation support for GreenLight’s six SIF grantees working in the areas of youth and education.

Ultimately, my goal is to help strengthen the policies, practices and organizations that provide young people with better opportunities to grow into healthy and productive adults.

Awards and Honors

  • John Glenn Scholar in Service-Learning. Recognition for research in the field of K-12 service-learning. (2008)
  • Founders Award, Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America Program: Recognition for contributions to the field of service-learning. (2005)


  • Melchior, Alan L. and Lanspery, S.. YouthBuild AmeriCorps Evaluation, Baseline Evaluation Report. Waltham, MA Center for Youth and Communities, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. Prepared for YouthBuild USA.: 2016.
  • Melchior, Alan L., Burack, C., Hoover, M., Marcus, J.. FIRST Longitudinal Study: Participant Characteristics, Program Experience, and Impacts at Follow-Up (Year 3 Report). Waltham, MA Center for Youth and Communities, Heller School, Brandeis University. Prepared for US FIRST.: 2016.
  • Center for Youth and Communities [Melchior, Alan L. et al]. Creating New Pathways to Postsecondary: Evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success (PSS) Initiative.. Waltham, MA Center for Youth and Communities, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University: 2013.
  • Melchior, Alan L.. Evaluation of the FIRST LEGO® League “Senior Solutions” Season. Prepared for US FIRST.. Waltham, MA Center for Youth and Communites, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.: 2013.
  • Boguslaw, Janet, Melchior, Alan L. and Pierce, Elizabeth. Partnership for College Completion Process, Implementation, and Outcome Assessment Year Two: Final Report. Waltham, MA Institute for Assets and Social Policy and Center for Youth and Communities, Heller School for Social Policy and Management: 2012.
  • Melchior, Alan L.. ""Chicago Case Study"." Innovating Under Pressure: The Story of the 2009 Recovery Act Summer Youth Employment Initiative. Ed. Curnan, Susan P.. Waltham, MA: Center for Youth and Communities, for the U.S. Department of Labor, 2010
  • Melchior, Alan L.. "De-Mystifying Evaluation: Making Evaluation an Integral Part of a High Quality Youth Program." Conference on Impact Assessment of Youth Interventions. New Delhi, India. May 2010.
  • Melchior, Alan L.. Summer of Service Evaluation Toolkit. Washington, DC Innovations in Civic Participation: 2010.
  • Melchior, Alan L., Cutter, T. and Deshpande, A.. Evaluation of the FIRST LEGO League, "Climate Connections" Season (2008-2009). Waltham, MA Center for Youth and Communities, Brandeis University. For FIRST, Inc.: 2009.
  • Melchior, Alan L.. "Going Beyond Robotics: Robotics Competitions as a Means of Promoting Positive Youth Development and Helping Young People Prepare for Work." 2006 Robotics Education Symposium “Strengthening STEM Education Through The Use of Standards-Based Assessments for Robotics Competitions, Washington, DC. January, 2006.
  • Melchior, Alan L., Cutter, T., and Cohen, F.. More than Robots: An Evaluation of the FIRST Robotics Competition Participant and Institutional Impacts. Waltham, MA Center for Youth and Communities, Brandeis University. Prepared for FIRST, Inc.: 2005.
  • Melchior, Alan L., National Youth Leadership Council. "The Growth of Service-Learning in America." The Generator: Journal for Service-Learning and Youth Leadership Fall, 2005.
  • Melchior, Alan L. and Bailis, L.N.. "Practical Issues in the Conduct of Large-Scale, Multi-Site Research and Evaluation." Studying Service-Learning: Innovations in Educational Research. Ed. Shelley Billig and Alan Waterman. Mahwah, NJ: Ehrlbaum Publishing, 2003
  • Melchior, Alan L. and Bailis, L.N.. "Impact of Service-Learning on Civic Attitudes and Behaviors of Middle and High School Youth: Findings from Three National Evaluations." Service-Learning: The Essence of the Pedagogy. Ed. Shelley Billig and Andrew Furco. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing, 2002
  • Melchior, Alan L.. "Costs and Benefits of Service-Learning." School Administrator August 2000.
  • Center for Human Resources [Melchior, Alan L.]. National Evaluation of Learn and Serve America: Summary Report. Waltham, MA Center for Human Resources, Brandeis University: 1999.
  • Curnan, Susan, Melchior, A., and Zuckerman, A.. "Toward Quality Programs for At-Risk Youth." Of Heart and Mind: Social Policy Essays in Honor of Sar Levitan. Ed. Garth and Stephen Mangum, Eds.. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 1996