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 review of impact and implementation studies from the past 10 years, this report summarizes what is known about how innovations in developmental education (that is, remedial college courses) can improve student outcomes. It also identifies five principles that are essential to successful reforms.
Three-Year Results from the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Ohio Demonstration
This report presents findings through three years from a replication of the City University of New York Accelerated Study in Associate Programs model at three community colleges in Ohio. The Ohio programs nearly doubled degree receipt through three years and led to an increase in transfers to four-year colleges.
Findings from a National Survey and Interviews with Postsecondary Institutions
This report, based on a national survey of two- and four-year colleges, examines the current state of practices in developmental education assessment, placement, instruction, and support services offered to students. Reform efforts have accelerated, but new practices still reach less than half of students.
Findings from a Study of the Career Readiness Internship Program
Work-based learning opportunities vary widely across colleges and are rarely evaluated. Through the Career Readiness Internship (CRI) program, 33 colleges provided large numbers of low-income students with valuable career-focused internship experiences, and employers generally viewed the program positively. Nevertheless, CRI was difficult to maintain after its grant period ended.
Early Findings from a CUNY Start Evaluation
To help City University of New York (CUNY) students referred to developmental (remedial) education, CUNY Start delays their enrollment in a degree program for one semester of intensive instruction. This report describes students’ progress through developmental education after one semester, and college enrollment in the semester thereafter.
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.
Lessons from the First Round of Achieving the Dream Community Colleges
Launched in 2004, Achieving the Dream is designed to help community colleges collect and analyze student performance data and apply the results to help students succeed. This report offers lessons from the first 26 colleges to join the national initiative, which now includes more than 200 institutions.
A Case Study of Two Community College Programs Designed to Accelerate Students Through Developmental Math
“Acceleration” strategies seek to help developmental students progress to college-level math quicker. This report examines two models: one at Broward College compresses a traditional 16-week course into eight weeks and another at Tarrant County College divides a course into modules, allowing students to skip content they’ve already mastered.
Lessons from the Developmental Education Initiative
This report examines the efforts of 15 community colleges that expanded preexisting interventions or put in place new ones directed toward helping students move through developmental coursework more quickly and more successfully.