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
Testimony

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.

Issue Focus

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.

Key Documents
Report

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.

Report

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.

Report

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.