About MDRC

Heather Wathington

  • MDRC Publications

    • The Effects of Learning Communities for Students in Developmental Education

      A Synthesis of Findings from Six Community Colleges

      July, 2012

      Mary Visher, Michael J. Weiss, Evan Weissman, Timothy Rudd, Heather Wathington


      This report looks at the short-term impacts of 174 one-semester learning communities for developmental students at six community colleges. On average, the programs produced a modest impact on credits earned.

    • Bridging the Gap

      An Impact Study of Eight Developmental Summer Bridge Programs in Texas

      June, 2012

      Elisabeth A. Barnett, Rachel Hare Bork, Alexander Mayer, Joshua Pretlow, Heather Wathington, Madeline Joy Weiss


      Eight developmental summer bridge programs offered accelerated and focused learning opportunities for entering college students with low skills in Texas. An evaluation shows positive impacts on introductory college-level course completion in math and writing, which faded by the end of two years. The programs had no impact on persistence or the average number of credits students attempted or earned.

    • Getting Ready for College

      An Implementation and Early Impacts Study of Eight Texas Developmental Summer Bridge Programs

      October, 2011

      Heather Wathington, Elisabeth A. Barnett, Evan Weissman, Jedediah Teres, Joshua Pretlow, Aki Nakanishi


      For entering college students with low basic skills, eight intensive summer programs provided accelerated instruction in math, reading, and/or writing; academic support; a “college knowledge” component; and the opportunity to receive a $400 stipend. Early results suggest that participants were more likely to pass entry-level college courses in math and writing.

    • Learning Communities for Students in Developmental Reading

      An Impact Study at Hillsborough Community College

      June, 2010

      Michael J. Weiss, Mary Visher, Heather Wathington


      A random assignment study of learning communities that linked a developmental reading course and a “college success” course finds that faculty collaboration and curricular integration increased over time. Overall, the program had no impact on students’ academic success, but evidence suggests that it had some positive effects for the last cohort of students in the study.

    • Scaling Up Learning Communities

      The Experience of Six Community Colleges

      March, 2010

      Mary Visher, Emily Schneider, Heather Wathington, Herbert Collado


      Learning communities, which enroll groups of students together in coordinated classes, are increasingly being used to help developmental-level students succeed. This report on the Learning Communities Demonstration, a large-scale, random assignment evaluation, describes the strategies that six community colleges used and the challenges they faced in scaling up their programs.

    • The Learning Communities Demonstration

      Rationale, Sites, and Research Design

      May, 2008

      Mary Visher, Heather Wathington, Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Emily Schneider


      Launched in 2007 by MDRC and the National Center for Postsecondary Research, the Learning Communities Demonstration is testing models of this promising approach in six community colleges in five states. This report describes the research design, including information about the colleges and their models, the random assignment process, data sources, analysis plans, and reporting schedule.

  • Other Publications

  • Projects

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