For The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trial project (THE-RCT), MDRC has created the largest individual-participant database from higher education randomized controlled trials to date. THE-RCT makes standardized, deidentified data from more than 25 studies covering 50 institutions of higher education and 65,000 students securely available to qualified researchers. This database serves as a resource to explore questions such as:
- Which program features/components (for example, enhanced advising or increased financial support) are associated with larger improvements in student success?
- Once a program is over, what happens to student success? Are gains maintained? Do they fade out? Do they grow?
- What sized improvements in student success can various higher education programs reasonably expect to achieve?
- Do short-term program effects predict long-term program effects?
Ultimately, MDRC hopes that this database will inspire new scholarship on these and other topics that will help improve outcomes for low-income, underrepresented, and underprepared students, who have long been a focus of MDRC’s higher education studies.
The database is hosted by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan. Documentation on the database, including information on each of the studies included in it, is publicly available on ICPSR. MDRC plans to continue to add to the database as it conducts additional randomized controlled trials in higher education, making it a more useful resource over time.
For more, check out this post on the Center for Open Science blog.