Issue Focus
December, 2020

When COVID-19 upended normal operations at STRIVE, a workforce development nonprofit founded in New York, the Center for Applied Behavioral Science at MDRC documented the agency’s real-time innovations that allowed it to continue serving clients during the crisis. Greg Wise, STRIVE’s National Vice President, shared a first-hand account of the transition.


Findings and Lessons from Three Colleges’ Efforts to Build on the iPASS Initiative

December, 2020
Cynthia Miller, Benjamin Cohen, Edith Yang, Lauren Pellegrino

The iPASS initiative aims to helps colleges use technology-based advising practices to improve students’ academic performance and college completion rates. This report describes how three schools used enhanced iPASS services in an effort to strengthen and reform their existing advising practices, including the standard version of iPASS.

Issue Focus

Research-Based Advice for Community College Administrators

December, 2020

Two decades of MDRC research shows that a holistic counseling strategy that reduces adviser caseloads and offers students more frequent, comprehensive guidance can help them address both academic and personal issues and improve college outcomes. This paper provides lessons for higher education professionals interested in implementing this approach.


Lessons from Two Decades of Research and Technical Assistance

November, 2020

Colleges support students with academic and other types of advising, counseling, or coaching. Some schools enhance those services by reducing adviser caseloads and providing more comprehensive, frequent guidance, which can improve students’ semester-to-semester retention and average credits earned. This brief describes important lessons on designing and implementing those services.


Facilitating Dialogue Between Parents Using Principles of Procedural Justice

September, 2020
Riley Webster

The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief aimed at child support practitioners and administrators describes the component of the PJAC model in which a case manager facilitates a discussion between parents.

Los Angeles County has the country’s largest jail and probation system, resulting in the need for a robust support system for individuals reintegrating into the community following a period of incarceration or supervision. In response, and with funding from the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (Proposition 47) and California Community Corrections Performance...

Issue Focus

How Place-Based Employment Programs like Jobs Plus Can Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic

July, 2020

Employment programs situated within public housing developments are facing multiple challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With routine operations disrupted by shelter-in-place orders, programs like Jobs Plus can find creative ways to keep their doors open and their clients engaged.


Characteristics of Parents Enrolled in the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt Demonstration

June, 2020
Danielle Cummings

The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice principles (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief describes the parents in the PJAC study sample and what led them to the point of being in contempt of court for nonpayment.

Issue Focus

An Interview with Jenny Taylor

May, 2020

Jenny Taylor, vice president of career services for Goodwill of North Georgia, describes her successful subsidized jobs program targeting noncustodial parents (mostly fathers), how it has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it could be expanded to serve more people.

Issue Focus

Providing Remote Support Services to College Students

April, 2020

SUCCESS, a comprehensive coaching program designed to improve college graduation rates among low-income students, has quickly transitioned during the pandemic. It is offering virtual advising appointments, adapting meeting topics to include tips for distance learning, and connecting students with local resources including food, health care, and emergency financial aid.