Developmental Education

Brief
January, 2022
Dan Cullinan, Elizabeth Kopko

Two experimental studies examined multiple measures assessment (MMA), in which colleges use alternative measures (like high school GPA) rather than just standardized test scores, to assign students to developmental or college-level courses. Students placed using MMA were more likely to complete college-level courses. This brief offers recommendations for other colleges.

Report

Three-Semester Findings from an Experimental Study of Multiple Measures Assessment and Placement

December, 2021

Some students are referred into developmental (or remedial) education inappropriately when placed using only standardized placement tests. When multiple measures assessment was used, students in Minnesota and Wisconsin were more likely to enroll and pass college-level math and English courses within three semesters. The additional cost of this alternative assessment averaged $33 per student.

Issue Focus

Lessons from Growth Sector’s STEM Core Program

July, 2021
Oscar Cerna, Marco Lepe, Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow

Millions of community college students, particularly students of color and women, don’t complete the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses critical to succeeding in the modern economy. This brief examines one program that combines increased academic support, out-of-classroom activities, accelerated coursework, and other components to help improve student outcomes.

Issue Focus

A Synthesis of Post-Program Effects in Higher Education

March, 2021

Some education programs’ early positive effects disappear over time, while other programs have unanticipated positive long-term effects. This Issue Focus introduces The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trials, an examination of program effects after a postsecondary education program ends, using a database drawn from 31 MDRC projects, sampling 67,400 stu­dents.

Working Paper

A Synthesis of Findings on the ASAP Model from Six Colleges Across Two States

February, 2021

This paper presents new estimates of the effects of the City University of New York (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) model, evaluated first in New York and later in Ohio. It shows long-term effects in New York on degrees earned and consistent effects in both states.

Brief

What Colleges Need to Know About Multiple Measures Assessments

February, 2021

Colleges often use standardized testing to determine whether incoming students need developmental courses. But those tests do not predict students’ college readiness accurately. This brief explains how the use of alternative multiple measures can improve placement decisions, increase college-level course pass rates, and boost progress toward graduation.

Brief
January, 2021
Susan Bickerstaff, Elizabeth Kopko, Erika B. Lewy, Julia Raufman, Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow

This brief from the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness, a project of the Community College Research Center and MDRC, presents four case studies on how community college state systems changed course placement policies and supported new placement practices in the midst of the pandemic.

Issue Focus
November, 2020
Alexander Mayer, Kate Tromble

A college degree remains critical to unlocking opportunity and to accessing America’s middle class, yet millions of students who pursue higher education never earn degrees. This memo, produced with Results for America, draws lessons and policy implications from two decades of rigorous research in postsecondary institutions focused on addressing this problem.

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