Founded in 1974, MDRC is committed to improving the lives of people with low incomes. We design promising new interventions, evaluate existing programs, and provide technical assistance to build better programs.
MDRC develops evidence about solutions to some of the nation’s most difficult problems. Explore our projects and variety of products, including publications, videos, podcast episodes, and resources for researchers and practitioners.
Implementation, Impact, and Cost Findings from the New York City P-TECH 9-14 Schools Evaluation
The New York City P-TECH 9-14 schools involve a partnership among a high school, a community college, and employer partners that focuses on preparing students for college and careers within six years. This first rigorous evaluation of the model found it increases the percentage of students who earn college degrees.
Developmental math requirements can be a barrier to obtaining a college degree. This paper explores the effects of a robust developmental math reform model on longer-term outcomes of academic success. It helped more students complete college-level math but did not lead to broader impacts on college persistence and degree attainment.
Randomized controlled trials are an increasingly common research design for evaluating the effectiveness of community college interventions. This paper provides empirical benchmarks to help with the planning and interpretation of evaluations at these institutions.
The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) joined an MDRC-led research project called MyGoals for Employment Success, an innovative employment coaching intervention informed by behavioral psychology. This blog post describes the experiences of HHA staff members and the MDRC team and how they used participatory research methods to inform decision-making.
Short-term findings from implementation research that is part of a larger impact study can reveal insights that are valuable to both program operators and researchers. This blog post describes an example from a collaboration between MDRC and a high school reform organization.
The Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) program aims to improve college completion rates for traditionally underserved students at community and broad-access colleges. This report provides updated insight into the SUCCESS program after one year of participation and explores the implementation changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benefits of using a trauma-informed (TI) approach in fatherhood programs have been well documented. The quality of fatherhood program research can also be improved by incorporating TI principles into the research design. This brief explores ways to apply a TI framework to research focused on fathers and fatherhood programs.
Many of the men who participate in fatherhood programs may have experienced trauma from adverse childhood experiences, community violence, or incarceration. This brief provides practical information and easy-to-use tools designed to support trauma-informed practices in a fatherhood program context.
Findings from the Portland Site of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies
This report explores whether the outcomes and effects of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (Portland) vary when estimated using different data sources. The findings identify the strengths and limitations of the data sources used and provide information on which data sources to prioritize when evaluating targeted employment-related interventions.
Implementation of a Sectoral Training Program for People Impacted by the Criminal Legal System
Individuals with criminal legal system involvement have many disadvantages when seeking high-wage employment. The SECTOR program aims to connect such individuals with training opportunities in high-growth sectors. This evaluation finds that SECTOR offers a promising approach to help participants find jobs that offer livable wages, career advancement opportunities, and benefits.
Supportive Services in the Los Angeles County Innovative Employment Solutions Program
Individuals on probation face many challenges in reentering the community. This brief describes the Los Angeles County Innovative Employment Solutions Program’s creative approach to providing workforce and supportive services to this underserved population. The program’s unique training and funding model allows staff to respond flexibly to their clients’ complex needs.
Results from the Benefit-Cost Analysis in the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt Demonstration
The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrated procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This report compares the benefits and costs of PJAC services with those of business-as-usual child support enforcement.
High school and college students need more and better training to find jobs in the quickly evolving technical workforce. Courses of study in career and technical education (CTE) aim to provide these skills. This working paper examines the challenges to providing CTE and highlights the need for further research.
MDRC recently conducted an evaluation of training and technical assistance for elementary schools implementing a widely used approach called multi-tiered systems of support for student behavior (MTSS-B). This essay summarizes the findings and offers lessons for future applications of the approach.
A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Male Student Success Initiative for Men of Color
Research literature is rich with theories about the challenges faced by male students of color who strive to achieve college success and completion. This report provides the first causal estimates of the effects of a college program targeting male students of color on academic outcomes.
Research shows that corequisite remediation—which enrolls students who have been designated as underprepared into college-level courses and provides simultaneous remedial support—leads to improved student outcomes. This brief describes the implementation of corequisite course models at four colleges in Minnesota and Texas.
In this commentary originally published in Community College Daily, Colin Hill describes a new MDRC tool that helps college administrators estimate both the costs and revenues gained when implementing programs that increase graduation rates and put students on track to labor market success.
The Reentry Intensive Case Management Services program in Los Angeles County connects people who have been involved with the criminal legal system to community health workers who help them navigate services. This report presents encouraging findings from process and outcomes studies of the program and provides recommendations for providers.
A Resource for Organizational Leaders Participating in Research Studies
Implementation researchers often conduct interviews or surveys with staff members at programs participating in studies. This new post from MDRC’s Implementation Research Incubator blog offers tips to share with the leaders of these programs for communicating with their own staff about these research activities.
Findings from Teacher Interviews on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Early Care and Education Curricula and Professional Development
Communities of color and those with high poverty rates have disproportionately few high-quality options for early education. In this study, preschool teachers were interviewed about equity and inclusion in their classrooms. The findings suggest that curricula and professional development could provide more guidance on incorporating children’s lived experience in classroom learning.