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IES Grant

Title: National Center for Postsecondary Research
Center: NCER Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Bailey, Thomas Awardee: Columbia University, Teachers College
Program: National Research and Development Centers      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years Award Amount: $9,813,619
Goal: Multiple Goals Award Number: R305A060010
Description:

Topic: Postsecondary Education and Training

Purpose: The National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR) focuses on measuring the effectiveness of programs designed to help students make the transition to college and master the basic skills needed to advance to a degree. NCPR is currently pursuing research in dual enrollment; postsecondary remediation, including learning communities; and financial aid.

Established through a five-year grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, NCPR is housed at the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, and operated in collaboration with partners MDRC, the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, and faculty at Harvard University.

Projects

Learning Communities
Principal Investigator: Robert Ivry, MDRC
One increasingly popular strategy to help students with low academic skills succeed in college is to form learning communities of students who need remedial instruction. Researchers from the Postsecondary Center will conduct a random assignment evaluation in which they test the effects of learning communities at six colleges or universities.

Dual Enrollment
Principal Investigator: Katherine Hughes, Columbia University Teachers College
Dual enrollment is one of the fastest growing educational innovations that involve high schools and postsecondary institutions. Yet little rigorous research exists that compares the outcomes of students who have participated in dual enrollment to the outcomes of non-participants. Researchers from the Postsecondary Center are conducting analyses of student unit-record data to examine the potential outcomes of dual enrollment, while exploring opportunities for a random-assignment evaluation in several other states.

Remediation
Principal Investigator: Juan Carlos Calcagno, Columbia University Teachers College
Traditionally, students who begin postsecondary education with low basic skills have been placed in developmental English and mathematics courses with the goal of remediation. Typically, scores on a proficiency exam, which students must pass before they are allowed to register for regular college-level English and mathematics classes, are used to measure remediation success. Little rigorous research exists, however, that compares the outcomes of students who receive general remediation with the outcomes of students who enroll directly into college-level courses. This study seeks to compare the success of general remediation versus direct entry into college-level courses among students who begin postsecondary education with low general skills.

Financial Aid
Principal Investigator: Eric Bettinger, Case Western Reserve University
Higher education plays an increasingly important role in helping individuals attain social and economic success. Yet, despite decades of financial aid policy, substantial gaps in college access remain by income level and race. One major impediment to increasing college enrollment among low-income students is the lack of information about financial aid. In particular, few families appear to know about the types of aid available, and the federal application process for financial aid is so complex that it may actually impede student access. However, little research has been done to determine whether such policies would truly address the problems of access for low-income students, and there is almost no information about how programs designed to increase awareness affect the likelihood that students attend college and receive aid. This project addresses these questions by measuring the effects of an intervention designed to provide direct assistance with the completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application process as well as to test the impact of providing accurate and timely higher education information.

Key Personnel: Thomas Bailey, Elisabeth Barnett, Melinda Mechur, Karp, Amanda Rosenburg, John Wachen, Matthew Zeidenberg, Robert Ivry, Katherine Hughes.

Center Website: http://www.postsecondaryresearch.org/.

IES Program Contact: Dr. Katina Stapleton
Email: Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov
Telephone: (202) 219-2154

Related IES Projects: Improving Information and Access to Financial Aid: Expanding the FAFSA Experiment (R305A120280)

Publications

Book

Calcagno, J.C., and Long, B.T. (2008). The Impact of Postsecondary Remediation Using a Regression Discontinuity Approach: Addressing Endogenous Sorting and Noncompliance.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Bettinger, E.P., Long, B.T., Oreopoulos, P., and Sanbonmatsu, L. (2012). The Role of Application Assistance and Information in College Decisions: Results From the H&R Block FAFSA Experiment. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127(3): 1205–1242.

Boatman, A., and Long, B. T. (2017). Does Remediation Work for All Students? How the Effects of Postsecondary Remedial and Developmental Courses Vary by Level of Academic Preparation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 40(1): 29–58.

Wathington, H., Pretlow, J., and Mitchell, C. (2011). The Difference a Cohort Makes: Understanding Developmental Learning Communities in Community Colleges. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice, 12(2): 225–242.

Wathington, H., Pretlow, J., and Mitchell, C. (2011). How Does Money Help? Students' View of a Monetary Incentive. Enrollment Management Journal: Student Access, Finance and Success in Higher Education, 5(4): 45–66.

Nongovernment report, issue brief, or practice guide

American Youth Policy Forum (2010). Examining the Role of Summer Bridge Programs in Promoting College Readiness and Completion: Lessons Learned From Texas' Developmental Summer Bridges.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Barnett, E., Corrin, W., Nakanishi, A., Bork, R.H., Mitchell, C. and Sepanik, S. (2012). Preparing High School Students for College: An Exploratory Study of College Readiness Partnership Programs in Texas.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Barnett, E.A., Bork, R.H., Mayer, A.K., Pretlow, J., Wathington, H.D., Weiss, M.J., Weissman, E., Teres, J., and Zeidenberg, M. (2012). Bridging the Gap: An Impact Study of Eight Developmental Summer Bridge Programs in Texas.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Calcagno, J.C., and Long, B.T. (2009). Evaluating the Impact of Remedial Education in Florida Community Colleges: A Quasi-Experimental Regression Discontinuity Design.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Rutschow, E.Z. and Schneider, E. (2011). Unlocking the Gate: What we Know About Improving Developmental Education.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Visher, M.G., Schneider, E., Wathington, H., and Collado, H. (2010). Scaling-Up Learning Communities: The Experience of Six Community Colleges.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Visher, M.G., Teres, J., and Richman, P. (2011). Breaking New Ground: An Impact Study of Career-Focused Learning Communities at Kingsborough Community College.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Visher, M.G., Weiss, M.J., Weissman, E., Rudd, T., and Wathington, H.D. (2012). The Effects of Learning Communities for Students in Developmental Education: A Synthesis of Findings From Six Community Colleges.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Wathington, H.D., Barnett, E.A., Weissman, E., Teres, J., Pretlow, J., and Nakanishi, A. (2011). Getting Ready for College: An Implementation and Early Impacts Study of Eight Texas Developmental Summer Bridge Programs.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Weiss, M.J., Visher, M.G, and Wathington, H. (2010). Learning Communities for Students in Developmental Reading: An Impact Study at Hillsborough Community College.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Weissman, E., Butcher, K.F., Schneider, E., Teres, J., Collado, H., and Greenberg, D. (2011). Learning Communities for Students in Developmental Math: Impact Studies at Queensborough and Houston Community Colleges.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Weissman, E., Cullinan, D., Cerna, O., Safran, S., and Richman, P. (2012). Learning Communities for Students in Developmental English: Impact Studies at Merced College and the Community College of Baltimore County.New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research.

Working paper

Barnett, E.A., and Fay, M.P. (2013). The Common Core State Standards: Implications for Community Colleges and Student Preparedness for College. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.

Bettinger, E.P., Long, B.T., Oreopoulos, P., and Sanbonmatsu, L. (2009). The Role of Simplification and Information in College Decisions: Results and Implications From the HandR Block FAFSA Experiment (NBER 15361). Cambridge, MA: Working Paper.

Boatman, A. (2012). Evaluating Institutional Efforts to Streamline Postsecondary Remediation: The Causal Effects of the Tennessee Developmental Course Redesign Initiative on Early Student Academic Success. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.

Boatman, A., and Long, B.T. (2010). Does Remediation Work for All Students? How the Effects of Postsecondary Remedial and Developmental Courses Vary by Level of Academic Preparation. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.

Cho, S-W., Kopko, E., Jenkins, D., and Jaggars, S.S. (2012). New Evidence of Success for Community College Remedial English Students: Tracking the Outcomes of Students in the Accelerated Learning Program. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.

Long, B.T. (2008). What is Known About the Impact of Financial Aid? Implications for Policy. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.

Rodriguez, O., Hughes, K.L., and Belfield, C. (2012). Bridging College and Careers: Using Dual Enrollment to Enhance Career and Technical Education Pathway. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.

Speroni, C. (2011). Determinants of Students' Success: The Role of Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment Programs. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.

Speroni, C. (2011). High School Dual Enrollment Programs: Are we Fast-Tracking Students too Fast?. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.

Visher, M.G., Wathington, H., Richburg-Hayes, L., Schneider, E., with Cerna, O., Sansone, C., and Ware, M. (2008). The Learning Communities Demonstration: Rationale, Sites, and Research Design. New York: Columbia University Working Paper.

Wathington, H.D., Barnett, E.A., Fay, M.P., Mitchell, C., Pretlow, J., and Bork, R.H. (2012). Preparing Students for College Learning and Work: Investigating the Capstone Course Component of Virginia's College and Career Readiness Initiative. New York: National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper.


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