Behavioral Interventions

Report

Using Behavioral Science to Identify Barriers to Credit Intensity and Satisfactory Academic Progress

April, 2019

Taking enough credits and passing enough classes are key requirements for college success. But behavioral and institutional barriers often get in the way. A new report from MDRC shows how behavioral science can expose these barriers and help colleges move their students past the finish line to graduation.

Issue Focus
April, 2019
Pei Zhu, Ivonne Garcia, Erick Alonzo

This evaluation examines a “growth mindset” intervention for ninth-graders as they make the transition to high school. It aims to boost students’ ability to meet challenges and persist in school by demonstrating that academic setbacks do not indicate poor intelligence ― with the goal of enhancing academic resilience and, ultimately, performance.

Brief

Using Behavioral Strategies to Increase Initial Child Support Payments in Texas

April, 2019
Mary Farrell, Carly Morrison

This behavioral science-based intervention was designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made child support payments during the first months after a new order was established, before employer income withholding went into effect. It did increase the percentage who made payments in the first month.

Brief

Engagement in New York City’s Kindergarten Application

March, 2019

Parents applying to kindergarten today must follow multiple steps. Identifying families who do not apply can help a school system improve its application process and can help it target families who need support. MDRC partnered with the New York City Department of Education to conduct this sort of diagnosis.

Brief

Two Proven Strategies to Boost Summer Enrollment

February, 2019

Summer courses can help students progress to graduation, but most students do not enroll in them. An informational campaign incorporating behavioral science, tested with and without tuition assistance, increased summer enrollment. This brief presents findings from the Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) project following the reinstatement of year-round Pell grants.

The transition into high school is a volatile time for adolescents and a precarious point in the course of their education. Students who successfully navigate this transition and pass their ninth-grade classes are far more likely to graduate from high school with their peers and attend college than those who fail courses in the ninth grade.

Brief

Using Behavioral Science to Encourage Postsecondary Summer Enrollment

July, 2018

Community college students who enroll in summer courses are more likely to graduate, but most do not attend during the summer. The Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) project uses insights from behavioral science to encourage more students to enroll in summer. This brief presents EASE’s Phase I findings.

Issue Focus

The Experience of a New Program for Young People Involved in the Juvenile Justice System

June, 2018
Michelle S. Manno, Hannah Wagner

STRIVE International engaged MDRC to help the organization improve a new program model aimed at increasing educational attainment and employment of young adults involved in the juvenile justice system. This Issue Focus describes the partnership and offers advice to organizations implementing new programs on how to build evidence of effectiveness.

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