Students Experiencing Academic Struggles

MDRC examines programs that help students experiencing struggles through “catch-up” classes, tutoring and mentoring, supplementary literacy classes, classes designed to respond to educational gaps that result from historical and systemic under-resourcing, and case management and “high-intensity” supports for children with the greatest challenges.

The Latest
Brief

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.

Brief

This issue focus shares early implementation lessons from an evaluation of MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the program model. It offers lessons that could be relevant to similar programs operating in online, in-person, and hybrid environments.

Key Documents
Report

Three-Year Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation

After three years, participants in National Guard Youth ChalleNGe, an intensive, “quasi-military” residential program for high school dropouts, are more likely than their control group counterparts to have obtained a GED or high school diploma, to have earned college credits, and to be working. Their earnings are also 20 percent higher.

Report

Evidence from the Talent Development High School Model

Talent Development, a high school reform initiative, produced substantial positive effects on attendance, academic course credits earned, tenth-grade promotion, and algebra pass rates for students in very low-performing schools in Philadelphia.

Report

Examples, Evidence, and Prospects

High school reform is increasingly focused on the role of career-technical education (CTE) in preparing all students for success in both college and career. Instead of stand-alone vocational courses, programs that merge CTE, rigorous academics, and career exploration are gaining momentum, but schools need resources and training to implement them.