Curricular/Instructional Reforms

Early Findings from a CUNY Start Evaluation

July, 2018
Susan Scrivener, Himani Gupta, Michael J. Weiss, Benjamin Cohen, Maria Scott Cormier, Jessica Brathwaite

To help City University of New York (CUNY) students referred to developmental (remedial) education, CUNY Start delays their enrollment in a degree program for one semester of intensive instruction. This report describes students’ progress through developmental education after one semester, and college enrollment in the semester thereafter.

A Guide to Launching a Multiple Measures Assessment System

July, 2018
Dan Cullinan, Elisabeth A. Barnett, Alyssa Ratledge, Rashida Welbeck, Clive Belfield, Andrea Lopez

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.

Interim Findings on Developmental Students’ Progress to College Math with the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways

July, 2018

This community college reform directs remedial math students into accelerated course sequences focused on statistics or quantitative reasoning, depending on their programs of study. In a random assignment evaluation, students in the pathways group are enrolling in and passing college-level math at a higher rate than students in traditional courses.

Testimony of Alexander Mayer, Deputy Director, Postsecondary Education, MDRC, Before the New Jersey State Assembly Higher Education Committee

May, 2018

On May 7, Alex Mayer discussed the challenge of developmental education for low-income college students in New Jersey and nationwide, citing recent innovations and growing evidence about what works to overcome barriers to college success. The strongest programs integrate several strategies, combining opportunity and obligation to address multiple student barriers.

Implementation and Outcome Findings for the AVID Central Florida Collaborative Study

March, 2018
Susan Sepanik, Stephanie Safran, Larissa Saco

Implemented in eight secondary schools and a local college, this program was designed to build students’ college preparedness by training instructors in shared teaching strategies and best practices, strengthening academic rigor in the classroom, and promoting collaboration and consistency in teaching and study strategies across grades and schools.

The Implementation of High 5s in New York City

March, 2018
Robin Tepper Jacob, Anna Erickson, Shira Kolnik Mattera

Small-group math clubs in kindergarten are an innovative way to align children’s elementary and pre-K math experiences. In a demonstration of the High 5s kindergarten supplement aligned with the principles of an evidence-based, developmentally appropriate pre-K curriculum, attendance and engagement were high, and children participated in hands-on, individualized activities.

Testimony Before the California State Assembly Higher Education Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance

February, 2018

On February 6, Alex Mayer, MDRC’s Deputy Director of Postsecondary Education, explained to members of two California State Assembly committees that combining and integrating evidence-based strategies to address multiple factors can be highly effective in improving completion rates among low-income college students.

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