MDRC is evaluating efforts by community colleges to increase student success through institution-wide reforms, including using information about students’ progress over time to make better-informed programming decisions and developing well-structured, well-supported pathways for students from entry to degree completion.

The Latest
Report

Early findings show that using multiple measures to assess college readiness reduces the number of students placed in remedial classes and increases the number who enroll in and complete college-level math and English.

Report

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.

Key Documents
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Lessons from the Developmental Education Initiative

This report examines the efforts of 15 community colleges that expanded preexisting interventions or put in place new ones directed toward helping students move through developmental coursework more quickly and more successfully.

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Five Years of Achieving the Dream in Community Colleges

This interim report examines the experiences of the first 26 colleges to join the ambitious Achieving the Dream initiative. Launched by Lumina Foundation for Education in 2004, Achieving the Dream helps community colleges collect and analyze student performance data in order to build a “culture of evidence,” enabling the colleges to use that knowledge to develop programs to increase students’ academic success.

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A Case Study of Three Achieving the Dream Colleges

This report examines the experiences of three of the 83 colleges currently involved in the Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count project, an initiative of Lumina Foundation for Education, and their efforts to improve instruction in developmental education classrooms.