MDRC’s initiative Scaling Up Community College Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) seeks to improve graduation rates for community college students by helping states and colleges develop large-scale, financially sustainable support programs based on strong evidence. This issue focus provides an overview of the project.
Lessons from the Grameen America Evaluation
In any study, there is a tension between research and program needs. This program’s group-based microloan model presented particular challenges for random assignment. Reflections in Methodology looks at how the research design was adapted to allow a fair test of the program’s effectiveness without hampering its ability to operate.
This is the second in a series of Q&As with past participants in MDRC’s Judith Gueron Minority Scholars Program to hear their reflections on their experiences at MDRC and to learn what they’re up to today.
Eight Steps to Full Enrollment
The June post for MDRC’s operations web series, In Practice: Lessons for and from Practitioners, features eight steps to recruiting new participants in community improvement programs. MDRC field liaisons highlight tailored tips and practical advice to help staff members enroll new participants and maximize the full capacity of their programs.
A Q&A with MDRC Vice President Virginia Knox
Ramon Robinson of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management interviewed MDRC Vice President Virginia Knox about the role of mixed-methods research in evaluating social programs and about her vision for the methodology.
In a new feature — Where Are They Now? — Delia Kimbrel, Director of Research and Analysis at ImpactTulsa, reflects on her experience as a doctoral fellow in MDRC’s Judith Gueron Fund Minority Scholars Program and what it meant for her career.
As an alternative to random assignment, a regression discontinuity design takes advantage of situations where program eligibility is determined by whether a score exceeds a threshold. With careful attention to assumptions, analysis, and interpretation, this quasi-experimental design can provide rigorous estimates of program effects. Reflections on Methodology outlines some considerations.
A central element of effective social programs is reaching the target population. Establishing clear and achievable enrollment benchmarks can help programs do just that. This post uses the example of enrollment to establish specific steps that can help practitioners meet benchmarks that are realistic, well-defined, and robust.
This Excel tool is intended for colleges undertaking student success programs. It helps colleges set benchmarks: outcome measures that they can use over a defined time period to measure success relative to a prespecified target.
This visual tool is intended to help colleges undertaking student success programs create process maps. A process map is a visual representation that breaks down a process into every decision point, communication, and activity involved from the perspective of a user — in this case, a student.