This paper, originally published in Evaluation Review, provides researchers with new information about the values of the key design parameters needed for planning randomized controlled trial evaluations of interventions in community colleges.
Many community colleges have implemented interventions to help students persist in college and earn degrees. MDRC has studied many such interventions; several of them improved students’ academic outcomes, but the effects varied. This report synthesizes results from 30 studies MDRC has conducted of 39 interventions at 45 colleges.
A Brief Synthesis of 20 Years of MDRC’s Randomized Controlled Trials
What works to help community college students progress academically? This brief synthesizes 20 years of rigorous research by MDRC, presenting new evidence about key attributes of community college interventions that are positively related to larger impacts on students’ academic progress.
A Partnership Between Child Support Agencies and Local Service Providers
The Families Forward Demonstration examined strategies to help parents with low and middle incomes make reliable child support payments by increasing employment and earnings. The model, which emphasized free occupational training activities, shows promise for helping parents qualify for jobs in their chosen fields and for improving child support compliance.
A Synthesis of Post-Program Effects in Higher Education
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.
Perspectives and Considerations for Supporting Movement Across Workforce and Academic Programs in Community Colleges
Living-wage jobs increasingly require postsecondary education, though nonacademic career and technical education can also boost earning potential. But noncredit program benefits can be limited, so some community colleges are bridging the academic-nonacademic divide. This brief describes methods and strategies for connecting and promoting noncredit and credit pathways for students.
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
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.
Research-Based Advice for Community College Administrators
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
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.