Austin Slaughter is a technical research associate in MDRC’s Postsecondary Education policy area. He manages the technical work—randomizing study participants, collecting and processing data, estimating impacts and costs, and creating data visualizations—for two randomized controlled trial evaluations: Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) and Montana 10. Slaughter also led the development of MDRC’s Intervention Return on Investment Tool for Community Colleges, contributed to the creation of The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trial (THE-RCT) data file, and authored the final report of the CUNY Start evaluation.
Prior to joining MDRC, Slaughter conducted postsecondary education research at Research for Action, the University of Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Education. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Tyler. Slaughter is a first-generation college graduate, which drives his passion for postsecondary education policy and research.
MDRC PublicationsReportOctober, 2022
A review of impact and implementation studies from the past 10 years, this report summarizes what is known about how innovations in developmental education (that is, remedial college courses) can improve student outcomes. It also identifies five principles that are essential to successful reforms.BriefJune, 2022
Leaning on a robust body of evidence, this brief offers suggestions to policymakers, college administrators, and researchers for forecasting the financial impact of new interventions in postsecondary education, based on the interventions’ costs and their ability to keep more students enrolled, generate tuition revenue and state funding, and improve outcomes.Working Paper
A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluation of a Developmental Education Reform at the City University of New YorkMarch, 2021
CUNY Start aims to prepare students with significant remedial needs for college-level courses. This working paper reports that over three years, CUNY Start substantially increased college readiness, slightly increased credit accumulation, and modestly increased graduation rates (by increasing participation in another highly effective program).
College administrators are better positioned than ever before to make decisions about adopting programs based on the effectiveness and cost of interventions. There is, however, a third piece of information critical to decision-making: the amount of revenue an intervention would generate at their college because of increased student retention...Alexander Mayer, Michelle Ware, Frieda Molina, Hannah Dalporto, Andrea Vasquez, Susan Scrivener, John Diamond, Dorota Biedzio Rizik, Rashida Welbeck, Sophia Sutcliffe, Clinton Key, Melissa Boynton, Austin Slaughter, Erick Alonzo, Kalito Luna, Xavier Alemañy, Melissa West, Sumner Perera
Income share agreements (ISAs) are designed to help students pay for and attend postsecondary education and career training programs. With an ISA, students receive financial support to help cover the cost of their education and, in return, agree to pay a fixed percentage of their future income over a...Michael J. Weiss, John Diamond, Austin Slaughter, Tiffany Morton, Colin Hill, Makoto Toyoda, Stanley Dai
For The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trial project (THE-RCT), MDRC has created the largest individual-participant database from higher education randomized controlled trials to date. THE-RCT makes standardized,...Colleen Sommo, Alexander Mayer, Alyssa Ratledge, Michelle Ware, Osvaldo Avila, Katie Beal, Melissa Wavelet, Leigh Parise, Colin Hill, Rae Walker, Austin Slaughter, Hannah Dalporto, Elena Serna-Wallender, Stanley Dai
MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) seeks to improve graduation rates for traditionally underserved students at two- and four-year colleges, by helping states and institutions align their resources with evidence-driven practices. SUCCESS ...
MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science (CABS) and Postsecondary Education policy area launched The Finish Line: Graduation by Design to improve college completion rates using behavioral insights. Graduating from college is...
Many students enter postsecondary education underprepared academically, and the success rate for these students is low. At open access colleges (like community colleges), underprepared students are typically referred to developmental (or remedial) coursework, often in the form of multilevel, noncredit course sequences in reading, English, and math.
To help...Colleen Sommo, Susan Scrivener, Michael J. Weiss, Michelle Ware, Michelle S. Manno, Alyssa Ratledge, Rebekah O'Donoghue, Austin Slaughter, Gilda Azurdia
National attention is focused on increasing graduation rates at community colleges. Graduation rates are particularly low for students who come to campus underprepared for college-level work. Across the nation, between 60 and 70 percent of entering freshmen in community colleges enroll in developmental (or remedial) math, reading, or writing courses. Data show that...