Curricular/Instructional Reforms

Issue Focus

Toward Better College Completion Rates

April, 2020

MDRC has developed a body of rigorous evidence on interventions designed to help low-income college students succeed. This issue brief draws six lessons from that work for colleges and policymakers as they seek to improve college completion rates.

Report

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

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.

Issue Focus

The Effects of the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs After Six Years

October, 2017
Himani Gupta

The City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is an uncommonly comprehensive and long-term program shown to raise graduation rates among community college students. Following up after six years, MDRC finds that ASAP increases graduation rates and enables some students to earn their degrees sooner.

Brief

New Approaches to Serving the Lowest-Skilled Students at Community Colleges in Texas and Beyond

October, 2017

Faced with many applicants with very low math skills, community colleges are responding with a variety of reforms, including restricting developmental courses to students with high-school-level skills. This brief provides context for the policy changes and describes the alternatives two colleges offer to those who don’t make the cut.

Working Paper

A Literature Review

October, 2017
Barbara Condliffe, Janet Quint, Mary Visher, Michael Bangser, Sonia Drohojowska, Larissa Saco, Elizabeth Nelson

Examining the scholarly literature published since a seminal review in 2000, this working paper discusses the principles that underlie project-based learning, how it has been used in K-12 settings, the challenges teachers have confronted in implementing it, and what is known about its effectiveness in improving students’ learning outcomes.

Even as employers need skilled workers in order to grow and compete in the global economy, too many young Americans are shut out. Lack of opportunity, the cost of college, and a lingering stigma attached to career and technical education ( CTE ) prevents high school and community college students from acquiring the education, credentials, and skills they need to get...

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