MDRC runs and evaluates programs to help college students — particularly, those in community colleges — complete their degrees and credentials and overcome barriers to academic success.

The Latest
Brief

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.

Brief

Colleges often use standardized testing to determine whether incoming students need developmental courses. But those tests do not predict students’ college readiness accurately. This brief explains how the use of alternative multiple measures can improve placement decisions, increase college-level course pass rates, and boost progress toward graduation.

Key Documents
Testimony

Presented Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

On August 5, Lashawn Richburg-Hayes testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on what research evidence suggests about the best ways to improve the academic success of low-income college students.

Report

What We Know About Improving Developmental Education

One of the greatest challenges that community colleges face in their efforts to increase graduation rates is improving the success of students in their developmental, or remedial, education programs. Emphasizing results from experimental and quasi-experimental studies, this literature review identifies the most promising approaches for revising the structure, curriculum, or delivery of developmental education and suggests areas for future innovations in developmental education practice and research.

Report

Three-Year Effects of CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for Developmental Education Students

The City University of New York’s comprehensive ASAP program nearly doubles the three-year graduation rate for developmental education students in community college – at a lower cost-per-degree than regular services. ASAP also increases rates of transfer to four-year colleges.