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Home Publications Scaling academic planning in community college: A randomized controlled trial

Scaling academic planning in community college: A randomized controlled trial

by Mary Visher, Alexander Mayer, Michael Johns, Timothy Rudd, Andrew Levine and Mary Rauner

Community college students often lack an academic plan to guide their choices of coursework to achieve their educational goals, in part because counseling departments typically lack the capacity to advise students at scale. This randomized controlled trial tests the impact of guaranteed access to one of two alternative counseling sessions (group workshops or one-on-one counseling), each of which was combined with targeted "nudging." Outcome measures included scheduling and attending the counseling session, completing an academic plan, and re-enrolling in the following semester. Evidence suggests that both variations on the intervention increase academic plan completion rates by over 20 percentage points compared to a control group that did not receive guaranteed access to a counseling session or the automated nudges. Exploratory evidence suggests that when combined with nudging, the guarantee of workshop counseling is as effective as the guarantee of one-on-one counseling in causing students to schedule and attend academic planning appointments. The following are appended: (1) Study background and intervention characteristics; (2) Study data sources, design and analysis; (3) Supplemental tables; and (4) Descriptions of MySite, Sherpa, and My Academic Plan systems.

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Publication Information

West | Publication Type: Impact Study | Publication
Date: November 2016

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