This protocol guides the What Works Clearinghouse’s (WWC) systematic reviews of evidence relating to college
and career readiness for secondary school students in grades 6–12. Reviewers conducting the systematic review
should use this protocol in conjunction with version 4.1 of the WWC Standards and Procedures Handbooks and the corresponding Study Review Protocol.
Table of Contents
- Purpose Statement (p. 1-2)
- Literature Search (p. 2)
- Screening of Research Using Eligibility Criteria (pp. 2-7)
- Implementation of WWC Standards (pp. 7-8)
- Synthesis and Dissemination of Findings (p. 8)
- References (p. 9)
- Appendix A. Prioritizing Research for Review and Synthesis (pp. 10-12)
- Appendix B. Search Terms Used in Literature Search (p. 13)
- Appendix C. Databases Used in Literature Search (pp. 14-15)
- Version: 4.1
- Released: August 2023
What is a Protocol?
A review protocol defines the scope of a systematic review. Developed with substantive experts, the protocol defines the parameters for the review, including the research, populations, settings, and outcomes. The protocol also specifies details of the literature search and any topic-specific applications of the design standards.
Protocol versions reflect the version of WWC standards in effect when the protocol was released. Protocol versions that predate the current version of the WWC standards handbook can be used to identify acceptable outcome domains for review within a given topic. The current WWC standards are used to guide the review of studies with acceptable outcomes.