MDRC in the News

Study: Initiative Helps Detroit Promise Students Succeed

The Detroit News


During the two years that Preston Welborne El has attended Oakland Community College, he has navigated many roadblocks on his way to getting a degree, including a three-hour bus commute from Detroit and struggling to find healthy, affordable meals. 

Welborne El, who is getting his tuition paid through the Detroit Promise scholarship program, could have been among the many students every year who start college but don’t make it to the second year.

But Welborne El has been able to persist because of an initiative known as the Detroit Promise Path, which has built support services into the city’s Promise scholarship program for some students as part of a study.

The initiative, which compared the success of those students with scholarship recipients who didn’t receive the assistance, has shown so much promise that it has become a national model and expanded to communities in five other communities across the nation, including Flint.

Data released Wednesday showed that the support program, which includes a stipend and a campus coach, has improved student retention, full-time enrollment and credit accumulation, according to MDRC, a New York-based nonprofit education and social policy research organization that partnered with Detroit Regional Chamber in designing the program…..

…..“The effects of the Detroit Promise Path on persistence and full-time enrollment in the second semester are among the largest we’ve seen in rigorous tests of higher education interventions,” said Alexander Mayer, deputy director of postsecondary education at MDRC…..

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