For over 14 years, Welbeck has been building a body of work advancing research and institutional transformation with a growing focus on equity and cultural responsiveness. Welbeck currently co-lead’s MDRC’s Equity Collaborative, which is supporting the strengthening of equity-based and culturally responsive research and technical assistance practices across MDRC’s five policy areas and two centers. In the Postsecondary Education (PSE) policy area, Welbeck is the project director for the Men of Color College Achievement Study. This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences and is part of the College Completion Network. Welbeck also leads the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Intermediaries for Scale (IFS) initiative at MDRC, which is engaging in several capacity-building efforts within PSE and across MDRC. Through the IFS initiative, Welbeck also works in collaboration with other intermediary organizations to advance equity-based approaches to supporting institutional transformation in postsecondary education. While at MDRC, she earned a master’s degree in urban policy and management from The New School’s Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment with a concentration in social policy. Before joining MDRC, Welbeck earned her bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University in international politics.
MDRC PublicationsIssue FocusJune, 2021
MDRC’s Equity Collaborative has compiled examples of metrics, data displays, and analytic approaches to help fellow researchers more fully measure equity both as a condition and as an outcome in studies focused on education.Issue FocusOctober, 2019
The Male Student Success Initiative is a program at the Community College of Baltimore County designed to support male students of color throughout their academic journey, leading ultimately to graduation or transfers to four-year institutions. This brief describes the program and introduces MDRC’s evaluation of it.Report
A Guide to Launching a Multiple Measures Assessment SystemJuly, 2018
To address underplacement, in which students who could succeed in college-level courses are directed into developmental education, community colleges have begun supplementing the typical placement test with measures like high school GPA and noncognitive assessments. This guide walks colleges through the process and pitfalls of undertaking this kind of reform.ReportMarch, 2015
This report examines the implementation and effects of an academic summer program for middle school students offered by Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL). The findings suggest that BELL students did not outperform non-BELL students in reading, but that the program may have had a positive effect on students’ math achievement.Report
A Technical Assistance Guide for Developing and Implementing Performance-Based ScholarshipsFebruary, 2014
Drawing on the findings and experiences of two research demonstrations that tested the effectiveness of performance-based scholarships, this guide provides helpful information for colleges and scholarship-granting organizations on this type of aid, which can reduce the financial burden on low-income students while offering incentives for good academic progress.Report
Student Characteristics and Patterns of (Un)AffordabilityFebruary, 2014
This paper reviews the literature on financial aid and college achievement, examines data from MDRC’s Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration to identify relationships between students’ financial aid and their persistence and academic achievement, and concludes with recommendations for how these collective findings should affect financial aid policy.Report
An Impact Study of a Student Success Course at Guilford Technical Community CollegeApril, 2012
A random assignment study of a student success course for developmental students finds positive effects on students’ self-management, self-awareness, and engagement in college. The program had few overall effects on students’ academic achievement, although there were some positive impacts for the first group of students to enter the study.Report
Progress and Challenges During the First Year of the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education InitiativeMay, 2011
This report examines the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education Initiative, an effort to expand promising developmental education interventions in 15 community colleges. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the colleges made progress and encountered challenges in implementing reform strategies in four key areas: changes in curriculum and instruction, academic and student supports, institutionwide policy changes, and precollege interventions.Report
Early Impacts from the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration in New YorkMay, 2011
Low-income adults needing remediation received a scholarship if they maintained at least part-time enrollment and met attendance and grade point average benchmarks. Early results show that the program modestly increased full-time enrollment and, among students who were eligible for summer funding, summer registration.
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
Inadequate social, emotional, and campus support
Insufficient college preparation and academic achievement
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...
Men of color bring a variety of strengths and assets to their college experience. However, research to date indicates that three primary hurdles inhibit college completion for many male students of color:Dan Cullinan, Rashida Welbeck, Alyssa Ratledge, Tiffany Morton, Erika B. Lewy, Dorota Biedzio Rizik, Stanley Dai
College students who place into developmental (remedial) education are substantially less likely to graduate than students who place into college-level courses. Most students are directed into developmental courses based on placement test scores. But large-scale studies have indicated that these test scores misplace substantial numbers of students — in other words, for...
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...Alexander Mayer, Dan Cullinan, Evan Weissman, Michael J. Weiss, John Diamond, Rashida Welbeck, Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow
The Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) conducts research to document current practices in developmental English and math education across the United States and to rigorously evaluate innovative assessment and instructional practices. CAPR, led by MDRC and the Community College Research Center, is funded by the federal Institute of Education Sciences.
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...Michael J. Weiss, Rashida Welbeck, Camielle Headlam
Even though enrollment in community colleges is steadily increasing, graduation and transfer rates remain disappointingly low. Developmental (or remedial) math is arguably the greatest stumbling block to community college completion. With multiple exit points along the way, traditional developmental math sequences can be long and may not be optimally structured to...Kate Gualtieri, Dan Bloom, Melissa Boynton, William Corrin, Fred Doolittle, John Martinez, Louisa Treskon, Jean Grossman, Leigh Parise, Marie-Andrée Somers, Michelle S. Manno, Rebecca Unterman, Megan Millenky, Rashida Welbeck, Mary Bambino
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), an initiative enacted under the Edward Kennedy Serve America Act, targets millions of dollars in public-private funds to expand effective solutions across three issue areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development and school support.