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Product Type Grade Level Highest Evidence Tier Name (Release Date)
Practice Guide PS 1
Effective Advising for Postsecondary Students (October 2021)
This practice guide provides four evidence-based recommendations for designing and delivering comprehensive, integrated advising to support students’ educational success.
Practice Guide PS 2
Designing and Delivering Career Pathways at Community Colleges (March 2021)
This practice guide provides community colleges with five specific recommendations for supporting occupational skills training through career pathways.
Practice Guide PS 2
Using Technology to Support Postsecondary Student Learning (May 2019)
This practice guide provides higher education instructors, instructional designers, administrators, and other staff with five recommendations for supporting learning through the effective use of technology.
Practice Guide PS 2
Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education–A Practice Guide for College and University Administrators, Advisors, and Faculty (November 2016)
This practice guide presents six evidence-based recommendations for college and university faculty, administrators, and advisors working to improve the success of students academically underprepared for college. Each recommendation includes an overview of the practice, a summary of evidence used in support of the evidence rating, guidance on how to carry out the recommendation, and suggested approaches to overcome potential roadblocks. Each recommendation includes an implementation checklist as guidance for getting started with implementing the recommendation.
Practice Guide K-PS 3
Encouraging Girls in Math and Science (September 2007)
The objective of this guide is to provide teachers with specific recommendations that can be carried out in the classroom without requiring systemic change.
Practice Guide K-PS 3
Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning (September 2007)
This guide includes a set of concrete actions relating to the use of instructional and study time that are applicable to subjects that demand a great deal of content learning, including social studies, science, and mathematics.
Intervention Report PS 1
Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (Developmental Education) (June 2021)
Dana Center Mathematics Pathways offers multiple math pathways aligned to programs of study, accelerated enrollment in credit-bearing college math courses, integrated student supports, and math instruction that incorporates evidence-based curricula and pedagogy.
Intervention Report PS 1
Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (November 2019)
ASAP is a three-year program that is designed to remove barriers to college success and completion for students seeking associate degrees. ASAP offers students financial, academic, and personal supports. ASAP students are required to enroll full time and are encouraged to take any required developmental education courses in the first semester.
Intervention Report PS 2
Single Stop (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (November 2020)
Single Stop helps connect students and their families to public benefits by offering screening and application support. They also connect students and their families to wraparound services, such as tax preparation, child care, and immigration consultation through “one-stop shops” located within community colleges. Single Stop services are open to all students enrolled at the community colleges in which they are located. Site coordinators meet with students at the local Single Stop office on campus. Students may also choose to self-serve through the use of Single Stop software.
Intervention Report 12-PS 2
Success Boston (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (October 2020)
Success Boston Coaching is a coaching intervention for students who are traditionally underrepresented in college to help them transition from high school to college and progress in college. Students are paired with a dedicated coach starting as early as the spring of their senior year of high school and receive coaching through their first two years in college. As Boston’s citywide college completion initiative, Success Boston partners with existing nonprofit organizations focused on coaching and mentoring to deliver these one-on-one coaching services. Nonprofit coaching partners may also provide students with other direct services such as tutoring and career readiness support, and financial support that includes scholarships, transportation subsidies, and funding for school-related materials and supplies.
Intervention Report PS 2
First Year Experience Courses (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (July 2016)
First year experience courses, often referred to as college success courses or freshman seminars, are courses for first-year students in 2-year and 4-year colleges. The general goals of first year experience courses are to support the academic performance, social development, persistence, and degree completion of college students. Additionally, first year experience courses often aim to increase students’ sense of campus community and connection to their institutions, while giving students the opportunity to interact with faculty and peers.
Intervention Report 11-PS 3
Bottom Line (Transition to College) (April 2021)
Bottom Line provides intensive advising for high school students from low-income households, most of whom are the first in their family to go to college. The advising is designed to help students apply for college and financial aid and select a high-quality affordable institution. For students who attend one of their target colleges, Bottom Line continues to provide regular support to students on campus for up to six years.
Intervention Report PS 3
Summer Bridge Programs (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (July 2016)
Summer bridge programs are designed to ease the transition to college and support postsecondary success by providing students with the academic skills and social resources needed to succeed in a college environment. These programs occur in the summer “bridge” period between high school and college. Although the content of summer bridge programs can vary across institutions and by the population served, they typically last 2–4 weeks and involve (a) an in-depth orientation to college life and resources, (b) academic advising, (c) training in skills necessary for college success (e.g., time management and study skills), and/or (d) accelerated academic coursework.
Intervention Report 10-PS 3
New Chance (Dropout Prevention) (January 2008)
New Chance, a program for young welfare mothers who have dropped out of school, aims to improve both their employment potential and their parenting skills. Participants take GED (General Educational Development) preparation classes and complete a parenting and life skills curriculum. Once they complete this first phase of the program, they can receive occupational training and job placement assistance from New Chance, which also offers case management and child care.
Intervention Report PS -1
Social-belonging Intervention (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (January 2022)
Social Belonging interventions for college students aim to reduce the impacts of negative stereotypes that may burden students in underrepresented groups and affect their persistence in college. Examples of such groups are racial or ethnic minority groups, women in engineering, and first-generation college students. There are different variations of Social Belonging interventions but they all have in common a goal of influencing students’ sense that they could be successful within a college setting.
Intervention Report PS -1
Growth Mindset (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (January 2022)
Growth Mindset interventions aim to improve college persistence and academic achievement by encouraging students to view intelligence as a “malleable” characteristic that grows with effort, and to view academic challenges as temporary setbacks that they can overcome.
Intervention Report PS -1
Year Up (Postsecondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) Interventions) (November 2021)
Year Up provides six months of occupational and technical training in the information technology and financial service sectors followed by six-month internships, together with other supports that ensures students have strong connections to employment.
Intervention Report PS -1
Project QUEST (Postsecondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) Interventions) (November 2021)
Project QUEST (Quality Employment through Skills Training) provides comprehensive support services to help participants complete occupational training programs at local community colleges and professional training institutes, pass certification exams, and obtain well-paying jobs in targeted sectors of the local economy.
Intervention Report PS -1
I-BEST (Postsecondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) Interventions) (September 2020)
Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) program provides integrated basic skills and occupational training that allows students to complete their training program faster than traditional programs, and provides supports to ensure students stay engaged in training. Washington State’s I-BEST program was developed by the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and was first implemented in the 2006–2007 school year. Since its creation, I-BEST has been replicated in other locations, sometimes under different names, including Accelerating Opportunity and the Accelerating Connections to Employment (ACE) program.
Intervention Report PS -1
Open Learning Initiative (OLI) (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (January 2020)
OLI provides high-quality online courses and learning materials to instructors and learners at low or no cost. The interactive OLI courses feature machine-guided instruction, immediate feedback, exploratory virtual laboratories, worked examples, and practice problems. Most OLI courses are open to both independent learners and students in instructor-led courses. OLI provides content that ranges in length from several-hour modules to full-semester courses. Independent learners may complete the material at their own pace, while students in instructor-led courses may be assigned to complete the material in a specified timeframe.
Intervention Report PS -1
InsideTrack (Supporting Postsecondary Success) (November 2019)
InsideTrack© Coaching provides proactive, personalized coaching to help students identify and overcome both academic and non-academic barriers to college persistence and graduation. InsideTrack© partners with universities to deliver its coaching to students through phone, video, email, text, and mobile apps.
Intervention Report 12-PS -1
Summer Counseling (Transition to College) (March 2018)
The summer counseling intervention was intended to reduce what study authors call the summer “melt,” a phenomenon in which students have been accepted to college but fail to matriculate. These summer counseling services, delivered during the months between high school graduation and college enrollment, involve outreach by college counselors or peer mentors via text messaging campaigns, e-mail, phone, in-person meetings, instant messaging, or social media. These intervention services provide college-intending individuals with information about tasks required for college enrollment, such as taking placement tests, arranging for housing, acquiring medical insurance, obtaining financial aid, and registering for courses. Summer counseling was also provided to help students overcome unanticipated financial, informational, and socio-emotional barriers that prevent college enrollment.
Intervention Report 8-PS -1
Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I (Secondary Mathematics) (June 2016)
Cognitive Tutor®, published by Carnegie Learning, is a math curricula that combines textbooks and interactive software.
Intervention Report PS -1
First Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education (Developmental Education) (February 2016)
First year experience courses for students in developmental education are designed to ease the transition to college for the large numbers of students in need of developmental (or remedial) education. The aim of these courses is to support the academic performance, social development, persistence, and degree completion of postsecondary students with developmental needs. Although first year experience courses vary in terms of content and focus, most are designed to introduce students to campus resources, provide training in time management and study skills, and address student development issues; for students in developmental courses, the courses are often linked with or taken concurrently with developmental courses.
Intervention Report PS -1
Developmental Summer Bridge Programs (Developmental Education) (March 2015)
Developmental summer bridge programs are designed to reduce the need for developmental education in college by providing students with accelerated developmental instruction. These programs occur in the summer “bridge” period between high school and college and typically incorporate accelerated developmental instruction with college preparation training.
Intervention Report PS -1
Linked Learning Communities (Developmental Education) (November 2014)
Linked learning communities in postsecondary education are programs defined by having social and curricular linkages that provide undergraduate students with intentional integration of the themes and concepts that they are learning. Linked learning communities are based on the theory that active learning in a community-based setting can improve academic outcomes by increasing social and academic integration. Linked learning communities tend to have a shared intellectual theme with a linked or integrated curriculum and a community or common cohort of learners.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
A Path From Access to Success: Interim Findings from the Detroit Promise Path Evaluation (April, 2019)
Postsecondary education is widely seen as a necessity in the modern economy, yet among low and middle-income families, college enrollment rates are dismayingly low -- and graduation rates are even lower. College Promise programs, which cover local students' college tuition and fees, are one strategy states and municipalities use to help. But traditionally, these programs look only to expand college access, not to address college success. Detroit's Promise program was designed to encourage college attendance among some of the nation's most underserved students, those in Detroit, Michigan. The next step was to help students succeed once they enrolled in college. To do so, MDRC and the Detroit Promise partnered to create the Detroit Promise Path, an evidence-based student services program. This report presents findings from MDRC's randomized controlled trial evaluation of the Detroit Promise Path. About two-thirds of eligible students were randomly assigned to be offered the new program, while the rest were assigned to a control group who receives the Promise scholarship alone, and thus does not meet with coaches or receive incentives. Comparing the two groups' outcomes over time provides a reliable estimate of the effects of the Detroit Promise Path. The findings in this report include the following: (1) The program has a positive effect on students' persistence in school, full-time enrollment, and credit accumulation; (2) Although it is too early to reach a conclusion about effects in the second year of the study, the early findings are encouraging; and (3) Participation rates were high among enrolled students, and students reported positive experiences in the program, especially in their relationships with their coaches. It is clear that Detroit Promise Path is having a positive effect on students in the first two years. This evaluation shows that building student support services into Promise scholarships can have a meaningful effect on students' academic progress. [Additional funding for this report was provided by the Michigan Education Excellence foundation.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
An on-ramp to student success: A randomized controlled trial evaluation of a developmental education reform at the City University of New York. (2021)
Most community college students are referred to developmental education courses to build basic skills. These students often struggle in these courses and college more broadly. CUNY Start is a prematriculation program for students assessed as having significant remedial needs. CUNY Start students delay matriculation for one semester and receive time-intensive instruction in math, reading, and writing with a prescribed pedagogy delivered by trained teachers. The program aims to help students complete remediation and prepare for college-level courses. This article describes the results of an experiment at four community colleges (n [is approximately equal to] 3,800). We estimate that over three years, including one semester that students spent in the program and two-and-a-half years after the program was complete, CUNY Start substantially increased college readiness, slightly increased credit accumulation, and modestly increased graduation rates (by increasing participation in CUNY's highly effective ASAP).
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Assessing the effect of corequisite English instruction using a randomized controlled trial. (2021)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Increasing Community College Graduation Rates: A Synthesis of Findings on the ASAP Model from Six Colleges across Two States (2021)
This paper presents new estimates of the effects of the City University of New York (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) model, evaluated using a randomized controlled trial first in New York and later through a replication in Ohio. It describes longer-term effects of CUNY ASAP in New York, showing that the program's effects on associate's degree receipt persisted through eight years and likely represent a permanent increase in degree receipt. The paper also offers an analysis from the pooled study samples in New York and Ohio. The findings indicate that the program has consistent effects on degree receipt across different states but also for somewhat different levels of service contrast, such as the number of additional advising visits.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Increasing Community College Graduation Rates with a Proven Model: Three-Year Results from the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Ohio Demonstration (2020)
The nation’s community colleges play a central role in producing a more educated workforce and promoting social mobility. They serve about 40 percent of all college students and, not surprisingly, they serve a disproportionate number of low-income and underrepresented students. But most students who enter these colleges do not graduate — only about a third of entering students earn a degree or certificate within six years. Among the many programs that have attempted to increase graduation rates, one program stands out. Developed by the City University of New York (CUNY), the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is a comprehensive program that provides students with up to three years of financial and academic support and other support services. Along with those services and other forms of support comes an obligation to attend full time and participate in essential program services. An experimental evaluation of CUNY ASAP found that the program nearly doubled graduation rates after three years. This report presents findings through three years from a replication of the ASAP model at three community colleges in Ohio. Low-income students were randomly assigned either to a program group, who could participate in their colleges’ new programs based closely on ASAP (called the Ohio Programs), or to a control group, who could receive the usual college services. Comparing the two groups’ outcomes provides an estimate of the Ohio Programs’ effects.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Marginal effects of merit aid for low-income students. Working Paper 27834. (2020)
Financial aid from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (STBF) provides exceptionally generous support to a college population similar to that served by a host of state aid programs. In conjunction with STBF, we randomly assigned aid awards to thousands of Nebraska high school graduates from low-income, minority, and first-generation college households. Randomly- assigned STBF awards boost bachelor's (BA) degree completion for students targeting four-year schools by about 8 points. Degree gains are concentrated among four-year applicants who would otherwise have been unlikely to pursue a four-year program. Degree effects are mediated by award-induced increases in credits earned towards a BA in the first year of college. The extent of initial four-year college engagement explains heterogeneous effects by target campus and across covariate subgroups. Most program spending is a transfer, reducing student debt without affecting degree attainment. Award-induced marginal spending is modest. The projected lifetime earnings impact of awards exceeds marginal educational spending for all of the subgroups examined in the study. Projected earnings gains exceed funder costs for low-income, non-white, urban, and first-generation students, and for students with relatively weak academic preparation. [Financial support for this report was provided from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and the MIT SEII seed fund.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
The effects of expanding Pell Grant eligibility for short occupational training programs: Results from the Experimental Sites Initiative. Evaluation report. NCEE 2021-001. (2020)
Pell Grants are the cornerstone of federal financial aid for low-income students enrolled in postsecondary education. Currently, these grants are available only to those who seek an initial undergraduate degree or credential lasting at least a typical semester. Because these rules may restrict access to programs providing skills needed for new or better jobs, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) began pilots of two experimental expansions to Pell Grant eligibility in 2011. The first experiment allowed income-eligible students with a bachelor's degree to obtain Pell Grants for short-term occupational training programs. The second experiment allowed income-eligible students to obtain Pell Grants for very short-term programs lasting as little as eight weeks. This report presents the results from a rigorous evaluation of the experiments conducted by ED's Institute of Education Sciences. The evaluation examined whether these pilot eligibility expansions increased enrollment in and completion of occupational training programs, a first step toward improving individuals' success in the labor market. [For the appendix, see ED609409. For the study highlights, see ED609410.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Who should take college-level courses? Impact findings from an evaluation of a multiple measures assessment strategy. (2020)
Virtually all community colleges and more than 90 percent of public four-year colleges use the results of placement tests--either alone or in concert with other information--to determine whether students are ready for college-level coursework or need remedial help in math or English. Evidence suggests that placement tests do a poor job of indicating which students need remediation. The Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) is studying an alternative placement system that uses multiple measures--including both placement test scores and high school GPAs--in predictive algorithms to place incoming students into remedial or college-level courses. Seven community colleges in the State University of New York system participated in the random assignment study to determine whether multiple measures placement leads to better student outcomes than a system based on test scores alone. Using multiple measures placement, many more students were assigned to college-level courses. In math, gains in college-level enrollment and completion were small and short-lived. But in English, the effects were much larger and lasted through at least three semesters. Regardless of whether they were predicted to succeed, students did better when they were allowed to start in college-level courses. A report on longer-term outcomes from the study will be released in summer 2022.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Can re-enrollment campaigns help dropouts return to college? Evidence from Florida community colleges (2020)
Most students who begin at a community college leave without earning a degree. Given the growing emphasis on student success, many colleges have implemented re-enrollment campaigns designed to foster re-engagement and degree completion among former students. However, there is a lack of causal evidence on their effectiveness. We implement a text message-based re-enrollment campaign in partnership with several Florida community colleges. Former students who were previously successful academically are randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups that either receives information to simplify the re-enrollment process or receives both information and a one-course tuition waiver. When comparing outcomes of former students who received information on re-enrollment to members in the control group, we find that providing information that simplifies the re-enrollment process has a small, statistically insignificant effect on re-enrolling. In contrast, offering both information and a one-course tuition waiver to recent dropouts significantly increases the likelihood of re-enrollment by 1.5 percentage points (21 percent) and full-time re-enrollment by 0.6 percentage points (22 percent). The effects are concentrated among former students who have accumulated the most credits and those with lower grade point averages. This study highlights the importance of targeted interventions that address informational and financial barriers facing former students.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
First in the World -- Amp-Up, Union County College: Final evaluation report. (2020)
In 2016, Union County College began a four-year experiment with corequisite developmental mathematics as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's First in the World (FITW) program. In this experiment, students assessed as needing to take developmental mathematics courses would be eligible to receive a waiver from their developmental requirements and instead proceed to college-level mathematics courses. Students selected to receive a waiver would also be required to participate weekly in tutoring services offered by the college. The Education and Employment Research Center at Rutgers University served as the external evaluator for the study. The evaluation focuses on three key outcomes: continuous enrollment, passing college-level mathematics, and degree completion. The outcomes assessment found that students assigned to the intervention group -- those who had the immediate opportunity to proceed to college-level mathematics with support -- benefitted primarily from the intervention itself. In other words, intervention group students were substantially more likely to have passed a college-level mathematics course within three years than their counterparts in the comparison group, who would have had to first complete a developmental mathematics sequence prior to enrolling in college-level math. Assignment to the treatment group did not, however, have a measurable impact on either student persistence at the college or on degree completion in the study period. [This report was produced by Rutgers' Education and Employment Research Center.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
How to encourage college summer enrollment: Final lessons from the EASE project. (2020)
This report presents findings from Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment [EASE], which used behavioral insights in two informational campaigns, with and without tuition assistance, to encourage community college students to take summer classes. Both interventions increased enrollment and had a modest impact on credits earned and positive return on investment for colleges. [The Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) project is funded by Ascendium Education Group. This report was written with Xavier Alemañy.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
A customized belonging intervention improves retention of socially disadvantaged students at a broad-access university (2020)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 1
What Happens When You Combine High School and College? The Impact of the Early College Model on Postsecondary Performance and Completion. (2020)
Early colleges are a new model of schooling in which the high school and college experiences are merged, shortening the total amount of time a student spends in school. This study uses a lottery-based experimental design to examine the impact of the model on longer term outcomes, including attainment of a postsecondary credential and academic performance in 4-year institutions. Results show that a significantly higher proportion of early college students were attaining postsecondary credentials. The results also show that early college students were completing their degrees more rapidly but that their performance in 4-year institutions was still comparable with the control students.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Accelerating mathematics: Findings from the AMP-UP program at Bergen Community College. (2020)
In 2015, Bergen Community College (BCC) received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education First in the World Grant Program. The grant entitled Alternatives to Mathematics Education: An Unprecedented Program (AMP-UP), was awarded to conduct a randomized control trial on a corequisite approach to developmental math education. This study was conducted by researchers at the Education and Employment Research Center (EERC) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. EERC investigated whether an accelerated delivery of developmental and college-level mathematics coursework would improve student retention, gateway course completion, credit accumulation, and degree completion over three years. The intervention group enrolled in accelerated developmental and college-level coursework; those in the group who placed into developmental arithmetic also participated in a self-paced Summer Bridge program. The comparison group followed the college's usual developmental mathematics sequence, generally enrolling in their first math course in the Fall term of their first year. The study found that both groups enrolled in a similar number of terms over three years. But in that period, intervention group students were 13 percentage points more likely to complete a developmental mathematics course and 30 percentage points more likely to complete a college-level mathematics course. The intervention group also earned 5.1 more credits and was 8 percentage points more likely to complete a degree in the study period. [This report was published by Rutgers' Education and Employment Research Center at the School of Management and Labor Relations.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 1
Bridging the School-to-Work Divide: Interim Implementation and Impact Findings from New York City's P-TECH 9-14 Schools. (2020)
The New York City P-TECH Grades 9-14 schools represent an education model that ties together the secondary, higher education, and workforce systems as a way to improve outcomes in both domains. The distinguishing feature of the P-TECH 9-14 model, as it is referred to in this report, is a partnership between a high school, a local community college, and one or more employer partners that focuses on preparing students for both college and careers -- not one or the other -- within a six-year timeframe. Education and workforce development are traditionally seen as separate spheres of influence with multiple transition points that students have been left to navigate largely on their own (for example, high school to postsecondary, and postsecondary to the workforce). P-TECH 9-14 is designed to seamlessly assist student navigation of those points -- supporting student success and mitigating the potential for students to fall through the cracks. P-TECH 9-14 schools collaborate with local colleges to provide students with an opportunity to earn a high school diploma (within four years) followed by a cost-free, industry-recognized associate's degree. During the six-year program, employer partners support P-TECH 9-14 schools by providing students with work-based learning experiences such as internships, mentoring, and job shadowing. By design, the P-TECH 9-14 model offers students the opportunity to participate in focused and accelerated high school pathways, early college, and career-focused activities. This study offers initial impact and implementation findings from the first rigorous evaluation of the model, evaluating the first seven P-TECH 9-14 schools that opened in New York City. The study leverages the random lottery process created by the New York City High School Admissions System to identify impacts. The majority of the students in the sample who participated in the admissions lotteries were academically below proficiency in both math and English language arts (ELA) prior to entering high school. [This report was written with Fernando Medina. For the executive summary, see ED605313.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 11-PS 1
Virtual advising for high-achieving high school students. (2020)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 1.0) impact study: Three-year impacts report. OPRE Report 2019-114. (2019)
In 2010, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the first round of five-year Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 1.0) to 32 organizations in 23 states; five were tribal organizations. The purpose of the HPOG Program is to provide education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. HPOG 1.0 grantees designed and implemented programs to provide eligible participants with education, occupational training, and support and employment services to help them train for and find jobs in a variety of healthcare professions. The ACF Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation supports a multipronged research and evaluation strategy to assess the success of the HPOG Program. To assess its effectiveness, the first round of local HPOG programs was evaluated using an experimental design in which eligible program applicants were assigned at random to a "treatment" group that could access the program or a "control" group that could not. To compute the program's impact, the outcomes for each group were compared. This document reports on the impacts that arose about three years after random assignment. It reports an overall average impact across the diverse HPOG 1.0 programs, as well as impacts for selected subgroups of study participants.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Gaining Ground: Findings from the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways Impact Study (2019)
Analyses of literacy and numeracy levels worldwide by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development suggest that the U.S. population has one of the lowest numeracy levels among developed nations. Sixty-four percent of American adults are unable to use math and interpret math problems that most higher-level jobs require, and a full 30 percent can perform only basic mathematical computations such as arithmetic or solve simple one-step operations such as counting. These findings reveal the critical need to improve American adults' math skills. Even in the U.S. educational context, many people continue to struggle with learning math, and college preparatory math classes, also known as developmental or remedial math, present a particular challenge. This report presents the findings of a study of a popular math pathways innovation, the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (DCMP, formerly the New Mathways Project). It examines the effects of the implementation of the DCMP's curricular models, which entail changes in both math content and instructional methods in developmental education and college-level courses while also accelerating developmental students' progress into college-level math. Using a randomized controlled trial, this evaluation examines how four Texas community colleges implemented the DCMP at their institutions in developmental and college-level classrooms and looks at the differences in instruction between these courses and colleges' standard math courses. Additionally, the study analyzes the impact of the DCMP on students' academic outcomes for up to four semesters and compares the costs of the initiative with colleges' standard course pathways. Following an introduction in chapter one, the remainder of the report is divided into five chapters. Chapter 2 discusses in more detail the DCMP model and expectations for its implementation. Chapter 3 discusses the implementation of the DCMP at the four colleges, and the fidelity and contrast between the DCMP and the colleges' standard math courses. Chapter 4 analyzes the DCMP's impact on students' outcomes. Chapter 5 examines the costs of the DCMP. Finally, Chapter 6 provides concluding thoughts and recommendations for next steps in research and practice. [For the Executive Summary, see ED600651.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Expanding access to college-level courses: Early findings from an experimental study of multiple measures assessment and placement (2019)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Supporting community college students from start to degree completion: Long-term evidence from a randomized trial of CUNY’s ASAP (2019)
Nationwide, graduation rates at community colleges are discouragingly low. This randomized experiment provides evidence that graduation rates can be increased dramatically. The City University of New York's (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is a comprehensive, integrated, 3-year program that has an estimated 18 percentage point effect on 3-year graduation rates, increases 6-year graduation rates by an estimated 10 percentage points, and helps students graduate more quickly. Graduation effect estimates of this magnitude are exceptional in randomized experiments conducted in higher education, offering hope of what is possible when serving low-income students.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Student coaching: How far can technology go? (2018)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) Program in three colleges: Implementation and early impact report (2018)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Washington State's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) Program in Three Colleges: Implementation and Early Impact Report. Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education. OPRE Report No. 2018-87 (2018)
This report describes the implementation and early impacts of the Washington State Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program at three colleges: Bellingham Technical College, Everett Community College, and Whatcom Community College. I-BEST is a nationally known program that aims to increase access to and completion of college-level occupational training in a variety of in-demand occupational areas. Its signature feature is team teaching by a basic skills instructor and an occupational instructor during at least 50 percent of occupational training class time. Colleges operated I-BEST programs in one or more occupational areas including automotive, electrical, office skills, nursing, precision machining, and welding. I-BEST is one of nine career pathways programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The I-BEST program was launched in Washington in the 2006-07 academic year by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. I-BEST aims to help students in basic skills programs (e.g., Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language), who otherwise might have spent time in remediation, to enroll and succeed in college-level occupational training courses. Each I-BEST program is a course of study within a structured career pathway, and it offers students the opportunity to obtain credentials and college credits in in-demand occupations. Besides the team teaching, the I-BEST program evaluated in PACE also included two enhancements: financial support for tuition and associated materials; and additional advising services focused on supporting students' academic needs, navigating college procedures, and career planning. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that the I-BEST programs at the three colleges increased participation in college level courses, number of credits earned and credential attainment. Future reports will examine whether the I-BEST program resulted in gains in employment and earnings.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Multiple measures placement using data analytics: An implementation and early impacts report. (2018)
Many incoming college students are referred to remedial programs in math or English based on scores they earn on standardized placement tests. Yet research shows that some students assigned to remediation based on test scores would likely succeed in a college-level course in the same subject area without first taking a remedial course if given that opportunity. Research also suggests that other measures of student skills and performance, and in particular high school grade point average (GPA), may be useful in assessing college readiness. The Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) is conducting a random assignment study of a multiple measures placement system based on data analytics to determine whether it yields placement determinations that lead to better student outcomes than a system based on test scores alone. Seven community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system are participating in the study. The alternative placement system evaluated uses data on prior students to weight multiple measures--including both placement test scores and high school GPAs--in predictive algorithms developed at each college that are then used to place incoming students into remedial or college-level courses. Over 13,000 incoming students who arrived at these colleges in the fall 2016, spring 2017, and fall 2017 terms were randomly assigned to be placed using either the status quo placement system (the control group) or the alternative placement system (the program group). The three cohorts of students will be tracked through the fall 2018 term, resulting in the collection of three to five semesters of outcomes data, depending on the cohort. This interim report, the first of two, examines implementation of the alternative placement system at the colleges and presents results on first-term impacts for 4,729 students in the fall 2016 cohort. The initial results are promising. The final report, to be released in 2019, will examine a range of student outcomes for all three cohorts, including completion of introductory college-level courses, persistence, and the accumulation of college credits over the long term. [This report was written with Dan Cullinan.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Instituto del Progreso Latino, Carreras en Salud Program: Implementation and Early Impact Report, OPRE Report # 2018-06 (2018)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Doubling graduation rates in a new state: Two-year findings from the ASAP Ohio demonstration. (2018)
While the United States has made strides in increasing college access among low-income students, college completion has remained low. Graduation rates are particularly low at the nation's community colleges, which enroll a disproportionate percentage of low-income and nontraditional college students. Seeking to address this problem, in 2014 three community colleges in Ohio -- Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Cuyahoga Community College, and Lorain County Community College -- undertook a new strategy to help more of their lowest-performing students succeed academically. The highly successful Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) developed by the City University of New York (CUNY) provided a model. ASAP is a comprehensive program that provides students with up to three years of financial and academic support and other support services to address multiple barriers to student success, with the goal of helping more students graduate within three years. This brief presents two-year impact, implementation, and cost findings for the pooled, full study sample in the ASAP Ohio demonstration. The findings show that students in the program group clearly outperformed the control group with respect to persistence in school, credit accumulation, and graduation. Graduation rates more than doubled: 19 percent of the program group earned a degree or credential after two years compared with 8 percent of the control group. The brief also presents some findings from analyses of the programs' implementation and costs. [This report was written with Sean Blake and Erick Alonzo.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Bridging the Opportunity Divide for Low-Income Youth: Implementation and Early Impacts of the Year Up Program. Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education. OPRE Report 2018-65 (2018)
This report documents the implementation and early impacts of Year Up—a national sectoral training program for urban young adults aged 18-24. Operated by an organization of the same name, Year Up provides six months of full-time training in the IT and financial service sectors followed by six-month internships at major firms. The full-time program provides extensive supports—including weekly stipends—and puts a heavy emphasis on the development of professional and technical skills. Year Up is one of nine programs in the federally sponsored Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation. It is among the most intensive workforce training programs tested to date. More than half (59 percent) of the program’s $28,290 per-participant cost is funded by employer payments for interns. Using a random assignment design, the study found that Year Up increased receipt of employment and training services. Compared to control group members who were not able to access the program, treatment group members were more likely to report that their classes used active learning methods, taught life skills, and were relevant to their lives and careers. Most importantly, young adults with access to Year Up had higher average quarterly earnings in the sixth and seventh quarters after random assignment—the confirmatory outcome selected to gauge Year Up’s overall success for this report. Persisting over a three-year follow-up period, Year Up’s earnings impacts are the largest reported to date for workforce programs tested using a random assignment design.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Becoming College-Ready: Early Findings from a CUNY Start Evaluation. (2018)
Many students who enter community college are deemed underprepared for college-level courses and are referred to developmental (remedial) education courses to build their math, reading, or writing skills. These students often struggle in developmental courses and in college more broadly. To help them, the City University of New York (CUNY) developed CUNY Start. CUNY Start targets incoming students who are assessed as needing remediation in math, reading, and writing. The program delays college matriculation (enrollment in a degree program) for one semester and provides intensive instruction in math, reading, and writing during that semester with a prescribed instructional approach. It also provides advising, tutoring, and a weekly seminar that teaches students skills they need to succeed in college. This report is an evaluation of the program. Findings in this report include: (1) CUNY Start was implemented as it was designed, and the contrast between the program and the colleges' standard courses and services was substantial; (2) During the first semester in the study, program group students made substantially more progress through developmental education than control group students; effects were especially large in math. In contrast, during that same semester, control group students earned more college credits than program group students, as predicted by CUNY Start's designers; and (3) During the second semester, program group students enrolled at CUNY colleges (that is, participated in CUNY Start or enrolled in any non-CUNY Start courses as matriculated students) at a higher rate than control group students. Seven appendices are included.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Des Moines Area Community College Workforce Training Academy Connect Program: Implementation and early impact report (OPRE Report No. 2018-82) (2018)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Escalating gains: Project QUEST’s sectoral strategy pays off (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies 11-PS 1
The bottom line on college counseling (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 1
Smoothing the Transition to Postsecondary Education: The Impact of the Early College Model (2017)
Developed in response to concerns that too few students were enrolling and succeeding in postsecondary education, early college high schools are small schools that blur the line between high school and college. This article presents results from a longitudinal experimental study comparing outcomes for students accepted to an early college through a lottery process with outcomes for students who were not accepted through the lottery and enrolled in high school elsewhere. Results show that treatment students attained significantly more college credits while in high school, and graduated from high school, enrolled in postsecondary education, and received postsecondary credentials at higher rates. Results for subgroups are included.
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 1
Smoothing the Transition to Postsecondary Education: The Impact of the Early College Model (2017)
Developed in response to concerns that too few students were enrolling and succeeding in postsecondary education, early college high schools are small schools that blur the line between high school and college. This article presents results from a longitudinal experimental study comparing outcomes for students accepted to an early college through a lottery process with outcomes for students who were not accepted through the lottery and enrolled in high school elsewhere. Results show that treatment students attained significantly more college credits while in high school, and graduated from high school, enrolled in postsecondary education, and received postsecondary credentials at higher rates. Results for subgroups are included. [This paper was published in the "Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness" (EJ1135800)]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Accelerating Connections to Employment. Vol. I. Final evaluation report (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Accelerating Connections to Employment: Final evaluation report. (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement: Implementation and early impact report (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Should students assessed as needing remedial mathematics take college-level quantitative courses instead? A randomized controlled trial. (2016)
Many college students never take, or do not pass, required remedial mathematics courses theorized to increase college-level performance. Some colleges and states are therefore instituting policies allowing students to take college-level courses without first taking remedial courses. However, no experiments have compared the effectiveness of these approaches, and other data are mixed. We randomly assigned 907 students to (a) remedial elementary algebra, (b) that course with workshops, or (c) college-level statistics with workshops (corequisite remediation). Students assigned to statistics passed at a rate 16 percentage points higher than those assigned to algebra (p < 0.001), and subsequently accumulated more credits. A majority of enrolled statistics students passed. Policies allowing students to take college-level instead of remedial quantitative courses can increase student success.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
The Green Jobs and Health Care Impact Evaluation: Findings from the Impact Study of Four Training Programs for Unemployed and Disadvantaged Workers. (2016)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Four-year degree and employment findings from a randomized controlled trial of a one-year performance-based scholarship program in Ohio (2016)
A college degree is often viewed as a key step toward better employment and higher earnings. Many community college students, however, never graduate and cannot reap the financial benefits associated with a college degree. Although existing research suggests that financial aid interventions can modestly improve students' short-term academic outcomes, there is little rigorous evidence on the critical question of whether such interventions improve graduation rates or employment outcomes. This study helps to fill that gap using a randomized controlled trial involving over 2,000 community college students in Ohio. It focuses on a student population composed predominantly of low-income mothers. The study includes four years of post-random assignment data to examine the long-term impact of a performance-based scholarship program--financial aid that is contingent on academic performance--on degree receipt, employment, and earnings. The findings provide evidence that the one-year program made a lasting impact on students' credit accumulation--still evident after four years--and decreased the time it took students to earn a degree, but the study does not provide evidence of impacts on employment outcomes.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Bringing CUNY Accelerated Study in Associated Programs (ASAP) to Ohio: Early findings from a demonstration in three community colleges (2016)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Building a Future: Interim Impact Findings from the YouthBuild Evaluation (2016)
Young people have been hit especially hard by changes in the labor market over the past decades. Unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds increased the most of any age group during the recent recession, and remains more than double that among older adults. The unemployment rate is especially high for young people without high school diplomas. YouthBuild is one program that attempts to help this group, serving over 10,000 of them each year at over 250 organizations nationwide. Each organization provides construction-related or other vocational training, educational services, counseling, and leadership-development opportunities to low-income young people ages 16 to 24 who did not complete high school. YouthBuild is being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial, in which eligible young people at participating programs were assigned either to a program group, invited to enroll in YouthBuild, or to a control group, referred to other services in the community. The evaluation includes 75 programs across the country funded by the U.S. Department of Labor or the Corporation for National and Community Service and nearly 4,000 young people who enrolled in the study between 2011 and 2013. This report, the second in the evaluation, presents the program's effects on young people through two and a half years. About 75 percent of the young people assigned to the program group participated in YouthBuild, and about half of these participants reported that they graduated from the program within 12 months. YouthBuild led to a number of positive effects on young people, most consistently in the area of education and training. Main findings include: (1) YouthBuild increased participation in education and training, even though a high percentage of the young people in the control group also sought out and participated in education and training. Overall, participants rated their experiences in YouthBuild favorably, although some program components were rated more highly than others; (2) YouthBuild increased the rate at which participants earned high school equivalency credentials, enrolled in college, and participated in vocational training; (3) YouthBuild led to a small increase in wages and earnings at 30 months; (4) YouthBuild increased civic engagement, particularly volunteering, but had few effects on other measures of youth development or attitudes; and (5) YouthBuild had few effects on involvement in the criminal justice system. The program's interim effects on education and training are encouraging. A later report, measuring effects through four years, will examine whether these interim effects lead to longer-term gains in work and earnings. The following are appended: (1) Site Selection, Random Assignment, the Analysis Model, and Previous Evaluations; (2) Response Analyses for the 12- and 30-Month Surveys; (3) Survey Responses About YouthBuild Experiences and Service Receipt at 30 Months; and (4) Survey-Based Impacts and Subgroup Impacts at 12 Months and Selected Impacts Per Participant.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Doubling graduation rates: Three-year effects of CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for developmental education students. (2015)
Community colleges offer a pathway to the middle class for low-income individuals. Although access to college has expanded, graduation rates at community colleges remain low, especially for students who need developmental (remedial) courses to build their math, reading, or writing skills. The City University of New York's (CUNY's) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), launched in 2007, is an uncommonly comprehensive and long-term program designed to help more students graduate and help them graduate more quickly. This report presents results from a random assignment study of ASAP at three CUNY community colleges: Borough of Manhattan, Kingsborough, and LaGuardia. Low-income students who needed one or two developmental courses were randomly assigned either to a program group, who could participate in ASAP, or to a control group, who could receive the usual college services. Comparing the two groups' outcomes provides an estimate of ASAP's effects. Key findings from the report are included. The following are appended: (1) Additional Baseline Information; (2) MDRC Student Survey Documentation and Analyses; and (3) Additional Impact Tables. [See earlier CUNY's ASAP reports: "What Can a Multifaceted Program Do for Community College Students? Early Results from an Evaluation of Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for Developmental Education Students" at ED532840 and "More Graduates: Two-Year Results from an Evaluation of Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for Developmental Education Students" at ED546636.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 1
Smoothing the transition to postsecondary education: The impact of the Early College Model (2015)
Developed in response to concerns that too few students were enrolling and succeeding in postsecondary education, early college high schools are small schools that blur the line between high school and college. This article presents results from a longitudinal experimental study comparing outcomes for students accepted to an early college through a lottery process with outcomes for students who were not accepted through the lottery and enrolled in high school elsewhere. Results show that treatment students attained significantly more college credits while in high school, and graduated from high school, enrolled in postsecondary education, and received postsecondary credentials at higher rates. Results for subgroups are included. [This paper was published in the "Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness" (EJ1135800)]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates? [Lawrence and Springfield] (2015)
A report released in April 2013 by Benjamin L Castleman of Harvard University and Lindsay C. Page of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University examines the implications of two forms of interventions during the summer between high school and the first year of college on college enrollment. "Summer Nudging: Can Personalized Text Messages and Peer Mentor Outreach Increase College Going Among Low-Income High School Graduates?" details findings that text message reminders and peer mentor outreach programs can be an effective way to mitigate summer attrition. The report details two large-scale randomized trials done in collaboration with three educational agencies: the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), uAspire (a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on college affordability), and Mastery Charter Schools (a network of charter schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan area). Castleman and Page reveal the positive impact these low-cost initiatives can have on college enrollment within low-income communities during an increasingly technological era.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising. (2014)
College graduation rates often lag behind college attendance rates. One theory as to why students do not complete college is that they lack key information about how to be successful or fail to act on the information that they have. We present evidence from a randomized experiment which tests the effectiveness of individualized student coaching. Over the course of two separate school years, InsideTrack, a student coaching service, provided coaching to students attending public, private, and proprietary universities. Most of the participating students were nontraditional college students enrolled in degree programs. The participating universities and InsideTrack randomly assigned students to be coached. The coach contacted students regularly to develop a clear vision of their goals, to guide them in connecting their daily activities to their long-term goals, and to support them in building skills, including time management, self-advocacy, and study skills. Students who were randomly assigned to a coach were more likely to persist during the treatment period and were more likely to be attending the university 1 year after the coaching had ended. Coaching also proved a more cost-effective method of achieving retention and completion gains when compared with previously studied interventions such as increased financial aid.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
The forgotten summer: Does the offer of college counseling after high school mitigate summer melt among college-intending, low-income high school graduates? [Boston] (2014)
Despite decades of policy intervention to increase college entry and success among low-income students, considerable gaps by socioeconomic status remain. To date, policymakers have overlooked the summer after high school as an important time period in students' transition to college, yet recent research documents high rates of summer attrition from the college pipeline among college-intending high school graduates, a phenomenon we refer to as "summer melt." We report on two randomized trials investigating efforts to mitigate summer melt. Offering college-intending graduates two to three hours of summer support increased enrollment by 3 percentage points overall, and by 8 to 12 percentage points among low-income students, at a cost of $100 to $200 per student. Further, summer support has lasting impacts on persistence several semesters into college.
Reviews of Individual Studies 12-PS 1
The forgotten summer: Does the offer of college counseling after high school mitigate summer melt among college-intending, low-income high school graduates? (2014)
Despite decades of policy intervention to increase college entry and success among low-income students, considerable gaps by socioeconomic status remain. To date, policymakers have overlooked the summer after high school as an important time period in students' transition to college, yet recent research documents high rates of summer attrition from the college pipeline among college-intending high school graduates, a phenomenon we refer to as "summer melt." We report on two randomized trials investigating efforts to mitigate summer melt. Offering college-intending graduates two to three hours of summer support increased enrollment by 3 percentage points overall, and by 8 to 12 percentage points among low-income students, at a cost of $100 to $200 per student. Further, summer support has lasting impacts on persistence several semesters into college.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Interactive learning online at public universities: Evidence from a six-campus randomized trial. (2014)
Online instruction is quickly gaining in importance in U.S. higher education, but little rigorous evidence exists as to its effect on student learning. We measure the effect on learning outcomes of a prototypical interactive learning online statistics course by randomly assigning students on six public university campuses to take the course in a hybrid format (with machine-guided instruction accompanied by one hour of face-to-face instruction each week) or a traditional format (as it is usually offered by their campus, typically with about three hours of face-to-face instruction each week). We find that learning outcomes are essentially the same—that students in the hybrid format are not harmed by this mode of instruction in terms of pass rates, final exam scores, and performance on a standardized assessment of statistical literacy. We also conduct speculative cost simulations and find that adopting hybrid models of instruction in large introductory courses has the potential to significantly reduce instructor compensation costs in the long run. C 2013 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Closing the social-class achievement gap: A difference-education intervention improves first-generation students academic performance and all students college transition. (2014)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Interactive learning online at public universities: Evidence from a six-campus randomized trial. (2013)
Online instruction is quickly gaining in importance in U.S. higher education, but little rigorous evidence exists as to its effect on student learning. We measure the effect on learning outcomes of a prototypical interactive learning online statistics course by randomly assigning students on six public university campuses to take the course in a hybrid format (with machine-guided instruction accompanied by one hour of face-to-face instruction each week) or a traditional format (as it is usually offered by their campus, typically with about three hours of face-to-face instruction each week). We find that learning outcomes are essentially the same--that students in the hybrid format are not harmed by this mode of instruction in terms of pass rates, final exam scores, and performance on a standardized assessment of statistical literacy. We also conduct speculative cost simulations and find that adopting hybrid models of instruction in large introductory courses has the potential to significantly reduce instructor compensation costs in the long run.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Enhancing GED Instruction to Prepare Students for College and Careers: Early Success in LaGuardia Community College's Bridge to Health and Business Program. Policy Brief (2013)
Nationwide, close to 40 million adults lack a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential. About a quarter of high school freshmen do not graduate in four years, and while many high school dropouts eventually do attend GED preparation classes, too few ever pass the GED exam or go on to college. Students with only a high school diploma already face long odds of success in a labor market that increasingly prizes specialized training and college education; for GED holders, the chances are even worse. MDRC partnered with LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY) to launch a small but rigorous study of its GED Bridge to Health and Business program, which aims to prepare students not only to pass the GED exam, but also to continue on to college and training programs. The results are highly encouraging: Bridge students were far more likely to complete the class, pass the GED exam, and enroll in college than students in a more traditional GED preparation class. (Contains 1 figure, 2 tables, and 11 notes.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
More graduates: Two-year results from an evaluation of Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for developmental education students (MDRC Policy brief). (2013)
This policy brief presents results from a random assignment evaluation of the City University of New York's Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP). An ambitious and promising endeavor, ASAP provides a comprehensive array of services and supports to help community college students graduate and to help them graduate sooner. The evaluation targeted low-income students who needed one or two developmental (remedial) courses. ASAP requires students to enroll full time and provides block-scheduled classes, comprehensive advisement, tutoring, career services, a tuition waiver, free monthly MetroCards for use on public transportation, and free use of textbooks for up to three years. After two years, compared with regular college services, ASAP increased the number of credits students earned as well as their persistence in college. Most notably, the program boosted two-year graduation rates substantially--by 66 percent. A future report will present the program's effects after three years.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
The effects of learning communities for students in developmental education: A synthesis of findings from six community colleges. (2012)
In 2006, the National Center for Postsecondary Research, of which is MDRC is a partner, launched a demonstration of one-semester learning community programs at six colleges; five of these programs focused on developmental education. This is the final report from the project and includes findings from analyses that pool data across these five programs as well as the results for developmental education students at a sixth program at Kingsborough Community College, operated earlier under the Opening Doors demonstration. Across the six programs, almost 7,000 students were randomly assigned, about half into 174 learning communities, and tracked for three semesters. Key findings suggest that when compared with business as usual, one-semester learning communities in developmental education, on average, lead to: (1) A modest (half-credit) estimated impact on credits earned in the targeted subject (English or mathematics) but no impact on credits earned outside the targeted subject; (2) A modest (half-credit) estimated impact on total credits earned; and (3) No impact on persistence in college. The developmental education students in the Kingsborough program, which had some different features from the other five programs, including enhanced support services, showed somewhat larger results than the other sites in credits earned in the targeted subject. An MDRC report on the overall Kingsborough learning communities program, which served "both" developmental and college-ready students, shows a positive impact on degree attainment after six years. The graduation effect was driven primarily by students who had placed into college-level English, although there is also evidence that the program had a positive impact on long-term outcomes for students with the greatest developmental needs in English. Together, these evaluations suggest that, while most typical one-semester learning communities for developmental education students are not likely to lead to large effects on students' outcomes, a program with additional supports can have longer-term impacts for developmental students. Appended are: (1) Impact Analyses; (2) Supplementary Exhibits for Chapter 3; (3) Instructor Survey Details; (4) Cost Details; and (5) Supplementary Table for Chapter 5. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 25 tables, 10 figures and 2 boxes.) [This paper was written with Jedediah Teres and Kelley Fong. For "The Effects of Learning Communities for Students in Developmental Education: A Synthesis of Findings from Six Community Colleges. Executive Summary," see ED533826.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Commencement day: Six-year effects of a freshman learning community program at Kingsborough Community College. (2012)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
A brief social-belonging intervention improves academic and health outcomes of minority students. (2011)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
The effects of student coaching in college: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student mentoring (Working Paper No. 16881). (2011)
College completion and college success often lag behind college attendance. One theory as to why students do not succeed in college is that they lack key information about how to be successful or fail to act on the information that they have. We present evidence from a randomized experiment which tests the effectiveness of individualized student coaching. Over the course of two separate school years, InsideTrack, a student coaching service, provided coaching to students from public, private, and proprietary universities. Most of the participating students were non-traditional college students enrolled in degree programs. The participating universities and InsideTrack randomly assigned students to be coached. The coach contacted students regularly to develop a clear vision of their goals, to guide them in connecting their daily activities to their long term goals, and to support them in building skills, including time management, self advocacy, and study skills. Students who were randomly assigned to a coach were more likely to persist during the treatment period, and were more likely to be attending the university one year after the coaching had ended. Coaching also proved a more cost-effective method of achieving retention and completion gains when compared to previously studied interventions such as increased financial aid.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Serving community college students on probation: Four-year findings from Chaffey College’s Opening Doors program. (2011)
Community colleges across the United States face a difficult challenge. On the one hand, they are "open access" institutions, with a mission to serve students from all backgrounds and at varying levels of college readiness. On the other hand, they must uphold high academic standards in order to maintain accreditation and prepare students for employment or transfer to four-year schools. How, then, can community colleges best serve students who want to learn but do not meet minimum academic standards? Chaffey College, a large community college located about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, began to wrestle with this question early in the twenty-first century. Under the auspices of a national demonstration project called Opening Doors, Chaffey developed a program designed to increase probationary students' chances of succeeding in college. Chaffey's program included a "College Success" course, taught by a counselor, which provided basic information on study skills and the requirements of college. As part of the course, students were expected to complete five visits to "Success Centers," where their assignments, linked to the College Success course, covered skills assessment, learning styles, time management, use of resources, and test preparation. In 2005, MDRC collaborated with Chaffey College to evaluate the one-semester, voluntary Opening Doors program. In 2006, the program was improved to form the two-semester Enhanced Opening Doors program, in which probationary students were told that they were required to take the College Success course. In MDRC's evaluation of each program, students were randomly assigned either to a program group that had the opportunity to participate in the program or to a control group that received the college's standard courses and services. This report presents the outcomes for both groups of students in the Enhanced Opening Doors evaluation for four years after they entered the study. The findings include: (1) The message matters--optional program activities had lower participation rates compared with required program activities; (2) Chaffey's Enhanced Opening Doors program had positive short-term effects; and (3) Despite the program's encouraging short-term effects, it did not meaningfully improve students' long-term academic outcomes. This report presents detailed findings from Chaffey's Enhanced Opening Doors initiative, including the cost and cost-effectiveness of the program, and considers the implications of this research for designing services for probationary students in community college. Appended are: (1) Sample Characteristics at Baseline, by Research Group, and Supplementary Four-Year Impact Tables; (2) Measure Creation; and (3) Statistical Model for the Impact Analysis. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 20 tables, 7 figures and 1 box.) [Additional funding for this paper was provided by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood. For "Serving Community College Students on Probation: Four-Year Findings from Chaffey College's Opening Doors Program. Executive Summary," see ED526394.]
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More guidance, better results?: Three-year effects of an enhanced student services program at two community colleges. (2009)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 1
Paying for persistence: Early results of a Louisiana scholarship program for low-income parents attending community college. (2006)
Community colleges, which tend to be more accessible and affordable than other postsecondary institutions, are a critical resource for low-income people striving to improve their prospects in the labor market and in life. Yet nearly half of students who begin at community colleges leave school before receiving a credential. Research by MDRC and others suggests that many community college students want to earn a degree but are overwhelmed by the competing demands of work, family, and school. Institutional barriers, such as poorly tailored instruction, insufficient financial aid, or inadequate advising, may also impede their academic progress. In 2003, MDRC launched the Opening Doors demonstration project to study the effects of innovative programs designed to help students stay in school and succeed. Six colleges in four states are taking part in the demonstration. This report presents early findings from Louisiana Opening Doors, an enhanced financial aid program targeting low-income parents at two community colleges in the New Orleans area: Delgado Community College and Louisiana Technical College-West Jefferson. This program was designed to help students with their expenses and provide an incentive to make good academic progress. Students randomly assigned to Opening Doors were offered a $1,000 scholarship for each of two semesters, in addition to the regular financial aid they qualified for, if they enrolled at least half time and earned at least a C average. They also received enhanced counseling. Students in a control group received only regular financial aid and the counseling available to all students. The early findings in Louisiana are compelling and suggest that a performance-based scholarship can indeed have a positive effect on persistence and academic achievement among a student population that faces multiple barriers to completing college. The students in Opening Doors were more likely to enroll in college full time, passed more courses, earned more course credits, and had higher rates of persistence. (Contains 30 endnotes, 3 tables, and 1 figure.) [The opening Doors Project was also funded by MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health; MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 2
Indiana and Minnesota students who focused on career and technical education in high school: Who are they, and what are their college and employment outcomes? REL 2021-090. (2021)
In Indiana and Minnesota the state education agency, state higher education agency, and the state workforce agency have collaborated to develop career and technical education courses intended to improve high school students' college and career readiness. These agencies partnered with the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest to examine whether high school graduates in each state who completed a large number of career and technical education courses in a single career-oriented program of study (concentrators) had different college and workforce outcomes from graduates who completed fewer (samplers) or no career and technical education courses (nonparticipants). The study found that in the 2012/13-2017/18 graduation cohorts, male graduates were more likely to be concentrators than female graduates, and graduates who received special education services were more likely to be concentrators than those who did not receive services. Graduates who were not proficient in reading in grade 8 also were more likely to become concentrators than those who were proficient. Graduates who attended urban and suburban schools were more likely than students who attended town and rural schools to be nonparticipants. Concentrators were less likely than samplers and nonparticipants with similar characteristics to enroll in college, but the differences reflect mainly enrollment in four-year colleges. Concentrators were more likely to enroll in two-year colleges. Concentrators also were less likely than similar samplers and nonparticipants to complete a bachelor's degree within four to six years. Finally, compared with similar samplers and nonparticipants, concentrators were employed at higher rates in the first five years after high school and had higher earnings. [For the study brief, see ED613045; for the study snapshot, see ED613046; and for the appendixes, see ED613050.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 2
The effects of accelerated college credit programs on educational attainment in Rhode Island. REL 2021–103. (2021)
This study examined participation in accelerated college credit programs dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and Advanced Placement courses in Rhode Island high schools to understand their effects on educational attainment in the 2013/14 grade 9 cohort. The state, which has funded and promoted these opportunities for students to earn college credit during high school over the past five years, sought evidence of the programs' effects on participants' high school graduation rates, postsecondary enrollment rates, and enrollment rates in developmental education courses in college. The study found that male, economically disadvantaged, and racial/ethnic minority students were underrepresented in accelerated college credit programs. Participation in these programs had positive effects on students' rates of high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment. Among students in the cohort who enrolled in Rhode Island public colleges, participation was associated with lower rates of developmental education course enrollment in the first year of college. The effects of participating in an accelerated college credit program were similar for economically disadvantaged students and for their peers. [For the Study Snapshot, see ED612888. For the appendices, see ED612890.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 2
The impact of career and technical education on postsecondary outcomes in Nebraska and South Dakota. REL 2021-087. (2021)
Education leaders in Nebraska and South Dakota partnered with the Regional Educational Laboratory Central to examine how completing a sequence of career and technical education (CTE) courses in high school affects students' rates of on-time high school graduation and their rates of postsecondary education enrollment and completion within two and five years. The study found that CTE concentrators (students who complete a sequence of CTE courses aligned to a specific career field such as manufacturing or education and training) were 7 percentage points more likely than non-CTE concentrators to graduate from high school on time and 10 percentage points more likely to enroll in any type of postsecondary education within two years of their expected high school graduation year. The study also found that CTE concentrators were 3 percentage points more likely than non-CTE concentrators to earn a postsecondary award, such as a professional certificate, diploma, or associate's or bachelor's degree, within five years of their expected high school graduation year. CTE concentrators were 4 percentage points more likely than non-CTE concentrators to obtain up to an associate's degree as their highest postsecondary award within five years of their expected high school graduation year but 1 percentage point less likely to obtain a bachelor's degree or higher. [For the appendixes, see ED612631; for the study brief, see ED612632; for the study snapshot, see ED612633.]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 2
AVID participation in high school and post-secondary success: An evaluation and cost analysis. (2020)
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program and to derive estimates of program costs. We used the Coarsened Exact Matching approach to match AVID students with non-AVID students on 40 baseline characteristics. After matching, we estimated group differences in high-school graduation and college enrollment. We used the ingredients method to estimate program costs and calculated cost-effectiveness ratios by the duration of participation. Findings indicate that students who complete at least one AVID elective have higher high school graduation and college enrollment rates than comparable non-AVID students. We discuss how AVID compares to other college outreach programs in terms of costs and effects.
Reviews of Individual Studies 12-PS 2
The Story of Scaling Up: Interim Report on the Impact of Success Boston's Coaching for Completion (2019)
Access to middle class jobs increasingly requires a college degree or credential. Individuals with postsecondary education have competitive advantage in the labor market: even when a job does not explicitly require a degree, a candidate with a degree will tend to be hired over an equally qualified candidate without one. Low-income students, in particular, along with first-generation students and racial/ethnic minorities, are underrepresented in postsecondary education Massachusetts is faced with an aging workforce where nearly half of the labor market is 45 or older. In Boston, the six-year college graduation rate for the city's 2011 public high school graduates who enrolled in college was 52 percent. This rate improves upon the 39 percent seven-year rate for 2000 graduates, yet likely is not sufficient to meet the predicted demand for a college-educated workforce. One-on-one coaching from experienced counselors when students are completing their senior year in high school and beginning college can help them succeed. A core strategy of the city-wide "Success Boston" initiative is one-on-one transition coaching. The coaching model is implemented across a network of nonprofit organizations (that provide coaching) in partnership with institutions of higher education. Transition coaching offers students sustained, proactive, and responsive support in their first two years after high school. This report refers to the transition coaching program as Success Boston Coaching (SBC). The report is designed to answer four main research questions about implementation and impact: (1) What is the effect of SBC on student success in college?; (2) How, if at all, do the impacts of SBC vary by student characteristics and features of the coaching?; (3) How is SBC implemented across partner organizations and partner colleges? and (4) What resources are necessary to implement SBC? This report focuses on the effectiveness of coaching on students' persistence and achievement early in college, answering the first and second research questions. [For the previous report, "Success Boston: Coaching for Completion. 2015-16 Implementation Report," see ED582088. For the companion report, "The Story of Scaling Up: Highlights from the Interim Report on the Impact of Success Boston's Coaching for Completion," see ED602749.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Early outcomes of Texas community college students enrolled in Dana Center Mathematics Pathways prerequisite developmental courses (2019)
To improve outcomes in math, many Texas colleges are adopting mathematics pathways, which accelerate developmental math and tailor math courses to different majors instead of requiring all students to take algebra. This study examines whether students participating in Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (DCMP) developmental courses enroll in and pass college-level math courses at higher rates than students who take traditional developmental math courses. It employs regression analysis controlling for student characteristics using student-level data compiled by the state from the more than 20 Texas community colleges that implemented the DCMP model in 2015 and 2016. Results from this study are encouraging. They suggest that DCMP compressed prerequisite developmental courses are effective at accelerating community college students through their math requirements. Yet this study also found systematic sorting of students into DCMP by race/ethnicity, which could exacerbate educational inequalities. Key findings include: (1) DCMP students were about 13 percentage points more likely to enroll in college-level math in the next semester and 8 percentage points more likely to pass college-level math in that term than peers in non-DCMP developmental courses; (2) The advantaged gained by DCMP students was maintained over time--there was still a 5-percentage-point improvement in passing college-level math two years later among students in the fall 2015 cohort; and (3) Compared with non-DCMP courses, DCMP courses included more White students and fewer Hispanic students than would be expected based on the distribution of students at the colleges. This indicates inequality in subgroup access to reformed developmental math pathways.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
The relationship between accelerated dev-ed coursework and early college milestones: Examining college momentum in a reformed mathematics pathway (2019)
More than half of community college students fail to meet college-readiness standards in math. Developmental education (dev-ed) aims to help students acquire the knowledge and skills to succeed in college-level math but is plagued with low rates of advancement. We examined the impact of a model that accelerates developmental math coursework so that students can complete dev-ed and college math courses in their programs of study within 1 year. Using data from Texas and a propensity score matching approach, we tested the impact of the model on several college milestones. Results suggest that students in the accelerated model were more likely to persist and accumulate college-level credits during the 1st year than those in traditional dev-ed math. After 3 years, there was a strong positive relationship between participation in the accelerated model and important college milestones, like college math course completion and total accumulated college-level credits.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Single Stop final impact and implementation report. (2018)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Advancing Careers and Training (ACT) for Healthcare in Wisconsin. (2018)
Reviews of Individual Studies 12-PS 2
The power of coaching: Interim report on the impact of Success Boston’s transition coaching on college success (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
New evidence on integrated career pathways: Final impact report for Accelerating Opportunity. (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Northeast Resiliency Consortium: Final evaluation report (2017)
"Driven by a series of natural and man-made disasters that took place in the northeast in 2012 and early 2013, including the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Boston Marathon bombings, and Hurricane Sandy, seven community colleges in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York formed the Northeast Resiliency Consortium (NRC) to address the acute need for resilience in their communities, and were awarded a Round III TAACCCT grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The NRC sought to take strategic action to build a highly skilled and qualified workforce to help mitigate their communities’ short- and long-term vulnerabilities and risks, and build resilient workers, institutions, and communities. The NRC used this grant to expand and enhance its programs to close the skills gap in healthcare, information technology, hospitality, and environmental science. Through these training programs, the NRC would cultivate resiliency for participants to rapidly and effectively adapt and respond to internal or external opportunities, disruptions, or threats. Resiliency also refers to helping workers and employers develop advanced skills that facilitate adaptation to global competition, evolving technologies, and workforce demands. The NRC prioritized efforts focused on credential completion and employment in sectors that are critical to the functioning of communities, including in healthcare, where remaining adept at responding to emergencies and crises is critical for survival; information technology, where data networks must remain functional during catastrophes; and environmental technologies, where resilient infrastructures can help states and communities prevent and recover from disasters. In total, NRC colleges offered 84 programs of study to participants, with 44 continuing education programs and 40 credit programs. The NRC aimed to serve more than 3,462 unique participants during the three-year period of the grant. Preliminary performance numbers indicate the consortium surpassed its original goal by 15% – serving 3,987 unique participants. This final evaluation report documents findings from the impact and implementation studies, with an emphasis on the consortium’s approach to creating pathways from continuing education to credit programs, and colleges’ provision of comprehensive career, personal, and academic support services to participants."
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Making The Future: The Wisconsin Strategy. (2016)
"Wisconsin’s Making the Future TAACCCT 2 consortium grant brought together 16 technical colleges along with employers and workforce development groups to develop, improve, and expand stacked and latticed pathway programs – often called career pathways – in advanced manufacturing. The focus on stacked and latticed pathways was not new to Wisconsin, but instead emerged from the Regional Industry Skills Education initiative that began in the state in 2007 as part of the Joyce Foundation’s multi-state Shifting Gears initiative. Developing a series of interconnected stacked and latticed pathway credentials was an expectation of the TAACCCT Round 2 grants, as specified in the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration’s Solicitation for Grant Applications. As such, consortium colleges created new manufacturing pathways and modified existing pathways to enable participants to earn short-term credentials (less than one year) that stack toward one-year and two-year technical diplomas, and in some instances, Associate’s degrees. Wisconsin’s approach to stacked and latticed pathways consists of embedding short-term certificates or credentials within longer-term “parent” programs. The goal of the Making the Future consortium was to increase the attainment of industry-recognized and industry-valued certifications, certificates, diplomas, and other credentials that better prepare program participants for high-skill, high-wage employment or re-employment in manufacturing careers. Wisconsin’s technical colleges aimed to serve more than 2,657 unique participants during the three-year period of the grant. In fact, preliminary performance numbers indicate the consortium widely surpassed its goal, serving 3,795 unique participants or 143% of the goal."
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
ShaleNET Round 2 TAACCCT Grant Third-Party Evaluation Final Report. (2016)
Funded most recently by a Round 2 Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), the ShaleNET initiative was aimed at expanding the breadth and effectiveness of the training options and career pathways through which individuals could work towards careers in the shale oil and gas industry. A consortium of four educational institutions (referred to as “hubs) located in three states received funding from the Round 2 TAACCCT grant: Pennsylvania College of Technology (PCT) and Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) in Pennsylvania, Stark State College (Stark State) in Ohio, and Navarro College (Navarro) in Texas (see Exhibit ES-1). PCT was the leader of the consortium during the grant period. Each of these institutions was located in or near three major shale gas and oil production plays: the Marcellus Shale Play (located under parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and New York), the Utica Shale Play (located under nearly all of the Marcellus Play, but covering a bit more of Ohio and Pennsylvania), and the Eagle Ford Shale Play (located under a large swathe of southern Texas).
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS 2
Charter schools’ effects on long-term attainment and earnings. (2016)
Since their inception in 1992, the number of charter schools has grown to more than 6,800 nationally, serving nearly three million students. Various studies have examined charter schools' impacts on test scores, and a few have begun to examine longer-term outcomes including graduation and college attendance. This paper is the first to estimate charter schools' effects on earnings in adulthood, alongside effects on educational attainment. Using data from Florida, we first confirm previous research (Booker et al., 2011) that students attending charter high schools are more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college. We then examine two longer-term outcomes not previously studied in research on charter schools--college persistence and earnings. We find that students attending charter high schools are more likely to persist in college, and that in their mid-20s they experience higher earnings.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Connecting college students to alternative sources of support: The Single Stop Community College Initiative and postsecondary outcomes. (2016)
Single Stop U.S.A.'s Community College Initiative was designed to improve the well-being of low-income communities by connecting individuals to public benefits and other institutional and community resources to address nonacademic barriers to college completion. Through offices located on community college campuses, Single Stop provides students with a range of free services, including screenings and applications for public benefit programs; tax services, financial counseling, and legal services; and case management with referrals to a wide variety of resources and support programs across the institution and community. This report presents an evaluation of the Single Stop program and its impact on students' postsecondary outcomes. The authors examined the Single Stop program at four community college systems: Bunker Hill Community College, City University of New York, Delgado Community College, and Miami Dade College. The analysis indicates that use of Single Stop was associated with improved postsecondary outcomes. The findings suggest that access to alternative financial resources from government benefit programs alongside a network of institutional and community support programs can offer valuable support to college students.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Curricular redesign and gatekeeper completion: A multi-college evaluation of the California Acceleration Project. (2014)
Reviews of Individual Studies 12-PS 2
The role of application assistance and information in college decisions: Results from the H&R Block FAFSA experiment. (2012)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Building bridges to postsecondary training for low-skill adults: Outcomes of Washington state’s I-BEST program (2009)
Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) was developed by the community and technical colleges in Washington State to increase the rate at which adult basic skills students enter and succeed in postsecondary occupational education and training. Under the I-BEST model, basic skills instructors and career-technical faculty jointly design and teach college-level occupational courses for adult basic skills students. The model challenges the conventional notion that basic skills instruction should be completed by students prior to starting college-level courses and offers the potential to accelerate the transition of adult basic skills students into college programs. This Brief presents findings from a CCRC study that investigated the outcomes of students who participated in the program. The study compared, over a two-year tracking period, the educational outcomes of I-BEST students with those of other basic skills students, including non-I-BEST basic skills students who enrolled in at least one workforce course during the period of enrollment examined in the study. The analyses controlled for observed differences in background characteristics and enrollment patterns of students in the sample. Data was examined for more than 31,000 basic skills students, including nearly 900 I-BEST participants. Findings indicate that students participating in I-BEST achieved better educational outcomes than did those nonparticipating basic skills students who also enrolled in at least one workforce course in the same academic year. Using regression analysis, I-BEST students were found to be more likely than Non-I-BEST Workforce students to continue into credit-bearing coursework and to earn credits that count toward a college credential. They were more likely to persist into the second year, to earn educational awards, and to show point gains in basic skills testing. (Contains 1 table.)For full report, "Educational Outcomes of I-BEST, Washington State Community and Technical College System's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program: Findings from a Multivariate Analysis. CCRC Working Paper No. 16", see ED505331.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
Measuring the impact of a university first-year experience program on student GPA and retention. (2009)
In 1997 a medium-size Midwestern public university in the U.S. initiated a first year experience program. The program is designed to infuse added curricular and extracurricular components into core courses in an effort to integrate students into the university community. This article examined the FYE impact on grade point average (GPA) and retention after 1 year for the fall 2006 cohort of entering students. The findings suggest no positive FYE effect on retention, but on average FYE students earned higher GPAs than non-FYE students. Reducing the sample to include only courses identified as goal compatible FYE courses yielded a positive effect on retention and also accentuated the GPA differential. The estimated positive FYE impact on retention was larger for below average students (especially females) and smaller for above average students.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 2
An empirical analysis of factors that influence the first year to second year retention of students at one large, Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) (Doctoral dissertation). (2008)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
A case study of evaluating undergraduate research courses as high-impact practices fostering student learning outcomes. (n.d.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
An RCT of a CBT Intervention for Emerging Adults with ADHD Attending College: Functional Outcomes (2021)
Objective: The current study reports functional outcomes from a multi-site randomized trial of a cognitive-behavioral treatment program for college students diagnosed with ADHD. Methods: A sample of emerging adults (N = 250; ages 18 to 30) currently attending college were comprehensively evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD (M age = 19.7; 66% female, 6.8% Latino, 66.3% Caucasian). Participants were randomized to either a two-semester intervention (Accessing Campus Connections and Empowering Student Success (ACCESS)) or a delayed treatment condition. Participants were assessed with measures of academic, daily life, and relationship functioning prior to treatment, at the end of the first semester, and after the second semester of treatment. Results: Multi-group latent growth curve models revealed moderate effect size improvements on self-report measures of study skills and strategies, as well as on self-report measures of time management, daily functioning, and overall well-being for participants in ACCESS. Importantly, treatment effects were maintained or increased in some cases from the end of the first semester to the end of the second semester. Improvements in self-reported interpersonal functioning were not significantly different across condition and neither condition demonstrated significant change over time in educational record outcomes (GPA and number of credits earned). Conclusions: ACCESS appears to promote improvements in self-reported general well-being and functioning, time management, and study skills and strategies. However, improvements in interpersonal relationships and objective academic outcomes such as GPA were not observed. Clinical implications and future directions for treating ADHD on university and college campuses are discussed. [This is the online version of an article published in "Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology."]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Can feedback, correct, and incorrect worked examples improve numerical magnitude estimation precision? (2021)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Supporting the Whole Community College Student: The Impact of Nudging for Basic Needs Security (2021)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Des Moines Area Community College Workforce Training Academy Connect Program: Implementation and Early Impact Report. (2018)
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Escalating gains: The elements of Project QUEST’s success (2018)
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Final Evaluation of the ACED Grant at Salt Lake Community College. (2018)
"The SATTS administered a TAACCCT Round 4 institutional grant with a primary goal of applying competency-based education (CBE) to a wide range of career and technical education (CTE) and applied technology programs. The SATTS envisioned using the TAACCCT funds to make its curriculum “more open to the larger environment and successful in transitioning students into employment and further education” (Salt Lake Community College, 2014a). Whereas the SATTS had implemented a form of CBE in the past, the TAACCCT grant provided the opportunity to update CBE to a more current and potentially more impactful model. The version of CBE that SATTS envisioned would shift away from using seat-time, clock-hours, and predominantly face-to-face instruction to credentialing students upon mastery of competencies. This new vision of CBE began to emerge when SLCC joined the Competency-based Education Network (C-BEN) in 2010, making it one of the first community colleges in the nation to join C-BEN, with the TAACCCT grant providing the resources and momentum to scale CBE throughout the SATTS. To this end, the SATTS designated 20 high priority programs of study (POS) to enable students to master industry-focused competencies and obtain credentials to secure living-wage employment. This final third-party evaluation (TPE) report integrates findings from the interim report submitted to Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and subsequently to the US Department of Labor (DoL) in October 2016 (Bragg, Cosgrove & Cosgrove, 2016) and all evaluation activities through August 31, 2018. This report addresses the DoL requirements to evaluate implementation of the grant-funded POS and all other strategies funded by the grant, as well as to determine the outcomes and impact of the POS using a quasiexperimental design in the form of Propensity Score Matching (PSM). The evaluation had three distinct but also interlocking parts: implementation evaluation, program enrollment and outcomes evaluation, and impact evaluation. "
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Essays on the Economics of College Access and Completion (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
How Future Connect is improving college success through comprehensive advising and financial support: Findings from the Future Connect evaluation. (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
The Impact of Mentorship on At-Risk African American Males' Persistence, Perception of Achievement, and Post Graduate Job Placement at a Middle Tennessee University (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Pima Community College Pathways to Healthcare Program: Implementation and Early Impact Report (2017)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
The impact of computer usage on academic performance: Evidence from a randomized trial at the United States Military Academy (SEII Discussion Paper #2016.02). (2016)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Does providing prompts during retrieval practice improve learning? (2016)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Providing incentives for timely progress toward earning a college degree: Results from a performance-based scholarship experiment. (2015, June)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Accelerating the integrated instruction of developmental reading and writing at Chabot College. (2014, May)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Against the odds: The impact of the key communities at Colorado State University on retention and graduation for historically underrepresented students. (2014)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Closing the social class achievement gap for first-generation students in undergraduate biology. (2014)
Many students start college intending to pursue a career in the biosciences, but too many abandon this goal because they struggle in introductory biology. Interventions have been developed to close achievement gaps for underrepresented minority students and women, but no prior research has attempted to close the gap for first-generation students, a population that accounts for nearly a 5th of college students. We report a values affirmation intervention conducted with 798 U.S. students (154 first-generation) in an introductory biology course for majors. For first-generation students, values affirmation significantly improved final course grades and retention in the 2nd course in the biology sequence, as well as overall grade point average for the semester. This brief intervention narrowed the achievement gap between first-generation and continuing-generation students for course grades by 50% and increased retention in a critical gateway course by 20%. Our results suggest that educators can expand the pipeline for first-generation students to continue studying in the biosciences with psychological interventions.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Sustained gains: Year Up’s continued impact on young adults’ earnings (2014)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Randomized controlled trial of graduate-to-undergraduate student mentoring program. (2013)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Moving forward: Early findings from the performance-based scholarship demonstration in Arizona. (2013)
While postsecondary completion rates are a concern among many student populations across the country, college graduation rates for Latino students, especially Latino male students, are even lower than the national average. Low-income Latino men face many barriers to postsecondary success, including both financial and personal obstacles. This report presents findings from a study of performance-based scholarships paired with a robust set of student services designed to help low-income Latino men succeed at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Students who were eligible for the Adelante Performance Award Program could receive up to $4,500 in total over three semesters. Payments were contingent on their meeting academic benchmarks throughout the semester and participating in student support services such as advising, tutoring, and workshops. The program in Arizona is one of six being studied as part of the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration. Each program employs a random assignment research design to test an alternative incentive structure and is intended to serve a different target population. The program at Pima was designed with three main goals in mind: first, to help make college more affordable to low-income students; second, to structure scholarship payments to provide an incentive for good academic progress; and third, to encourage and directly reward participation in student services. The program was funded by a consortium of private foundations and operated from the fall of 2010 through the fall of 2012. This report provides analysis over two semesters of follow-up and suggests that: (1) Program group students participated at high rates in the support services offered; (2) The program led to a net increase in financial aid and allowed some students to reduce their dependence on loans; (3) The program had a small but positive effect on retention; (4) The program increased full-time enrollment in students' second semester; and (5) The program increased the number of credits earned. Some of the main goals of the program and its design have been achieved, at least in the short term. Appended are: (1) Selected Characteristics of Sample Members at Baseline, by Research Group; and (2) Adelante Program Materials. [This report was written with Drew McDermott.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Are tenure track professors better teachers? (NBER Working Paper 19406). (2013)
This study makes use of detailed student-level data from eight cohorts of first-year students at Northwestern University to investigate the relative effects of tenure track/tenured versus non-tenure line faculty on student learning. We focus on classes taken during a student's first term at Northwestern, and employ a unique identification strategy in which we control for both student-level fixed effects and next-class-taken fixed effects to measure the degree to which non-tenure line faculty contribute more or less to lasting student learning than do other faculty. We find consistent evidence that students learn relatively more from non-tenure line professors in their introductory courses. These differences are present across a wide variety of subject areas, and are particularly pronounced for Northwestern's average students and less-qualified students.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Enhancing self-reflection and mathematics achievement of at-risk urban technical college students. (2011)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
College graduation rates for minority students in a selective technical university: Will participation in a summer bridge program contribute to success? (2010)
There are many approaches to solving the problem of underrepresentation of some racial and ethnic groups and women in scientific and technical disciplines. Here, the authors evaluate the association of a summer bridge program with the graduation rate of underrepresented minority (URM) students at a selective technical university. They demonstrate that this 5-week program prior to the fall of the 1st year contains elements reported as vital for successful student retention. Using multivariable survival analysis, they show that for URM students entering as fall-semester freshmen, relative to their nonparticipating peers, participation in this accelerated summer bridge program is associated with higher likelihood of graduation. The longitudinal panel data include more than 2,200 URM students. (Contains 3 tables and 1 note.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Setting, elaborating, and reflecting on personal goals improves academic performance. (2010)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
The Open Learning Initiative: Measuring the effectiveness of the OLI statistics course in accelerating student learning. (2008)
The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) is an open educational resources project at Carnegie Mellon University that began in 2002 with a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. OLI creates web-based courses that are designed so that students can learn effectively without an instructor. In addition, the courses are often used by instructors to support and complement face-to-face classroom instruction. Our evaluation efforts have investigated OLI courses' effectiveness in both of these instructional modes--stand-alone and hybrid. This report documents several learning effectiveness studies that were focused on the OLI-Statistics course and conducted during Fall 2005, Spring 2006, and Spring 2007. During the Fall 2005 and Spring 2006 studies, we collected empirical data about the instructional effectiveness of the OLI-Statistics course in stand-alone mode, as compared to traditional instruction. In both of these studies, in-class exam scores showed no significant difference between students in the stand-alone OLI-Statistics course and students in the traditional instructor-led course. In contrast, during the Spring 2007 study, we explored an accelerated learning hypothesis, namely, that learners using the OLI course in hybrid mode will learn the same amount of material in a significantly shorter period of time with equal learning gains, as compared to students in traditional instruction. In this study, results showed that OLI-Statistics students learned a full semester's worth of material in half as much time and performed as well or better than students learning from traditional instruction over a full semester. (Contains 11 figures and 3 footnotes.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
The effects of combining developmental education with life skills on first semester retention and first semester grade point average (2007)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Academic Concept Mapping (ACM): A critical thinking tool in academic advising for improving academic performance in college freshmen (2007)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Outcomes of mentoring at-risk college students: Gender and ethnic matching effects. (2007)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS 3
Reducing the effects of stereotype threat on African American college students by shaping theories of intelligence. (2002)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Mobilizing developmental education: The causal effect of mobile app courseware on the college outcomes of developmental education students. (2021)
Developmental education, in which college students deemed unprepared for college-level coursework enroll in non-credit-bearing courses, is widespread in American higher education. This study evaluates the effect of mobile app courseware on the college outcomes of developmental education students. We used a research design that randomly assigned course sections to receive access to the apps or not. The results show that access to the apps significantly improved student performance in developmental education outcomes and marginally improved medium-term college persistence and performance but did not affect credential attainment in the study timeframe. Despite a number of barriers to implementation, the results suggest the intervention has the potential to improve the short-term outcomes of developmental education students in addition to being low-cost and scalable.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Shining the Spotlight on Those outside Florida's Reform Limelight: The Impact of Developmental Education Reform for Nonexempt Students (2021)
Since the 2000s, states have experimented with reforms to improve success among underprepared students traditionally assigned to developmental education (DE). Florida's reform under Senate Bill 1720 has been among the most comprehensive and wide-reaching. Recent public high school graduates and military personnel became exempt from DE, but nearly onethird of students, including those without a Florida standard high school diploma, were still required to take a placement test and enroll in DE if they scored below college-ready. The legislation also required colleges to offer accelerated instructional strategies for students remaining in DE, and provide enhanced advising and support services. Focusing specifically on nonexempt students, we use statewide data to conduct a difference-in-regression discontinuity analysis to examine differences in first-year math coursetaking outcomes for students on the margins of college readiness before and after the reform. While students narrowly assigned to DE tend to have a lower likelihood of taking and passing college-level courses relative to their college-ready peers, these students experienced larger gains after the reform when DE courses were offered in accelerated formats accompanied by support services. The reform also improved outcomes for students scoring above college-ready, which suggests that nonexempt students benefited from enhanced advising and support services too. [This article was published in "Journal of Higher Education" (EJ1281792).]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Shining the Spotlight on Those outside Florida's Reform Limelight: The Impact of Developmental Education Reform for Nonexempt Students (2021)
Since the 2000s, states have experimented with reforms to improve success among underprepared students traditionally assigned to developmental education (DE). Florida's reform under Senate Bill 1720 has been among the most comprehensive and wide-reaching. Recent public high school graduates and military personnel became exempt from DE, but nearly onethird of students, including those without a Florida standard high school diploma, were still required to take a placement test and enroll in DE if they scored below college-ready. The legislation also required colleges to offer accelerated instructional strategies for students remaining in DE, and provide enhanced advising and support services. Focusing specifically on nonexempt students, we use statewide data to conduct a difference-in-regression discontinuity analysis to examine differences in first-year math coursetaking outcomes for students on the margins of college readiness before and after the reform. While students narrowly assigned to DE tend to have a lower likelihood of taking and passing college-level courses relative to their college-ready peers, these students experienced larger gains after the reform when DE courses were offered in accelerated formats accompanied by support services. The reform also improved outcomes for students scoring above college-ready, which suggests that nonexempt students benefited from enhanced advising and support services too. [This article was published in "Journal of Higher Education" (EJ1281792).]
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS -1
Optimal college financial aid: Theory and evidence on free college, early commitment, and merit aid from an eight-year randomized trial (EdWorkingPaper: 21-393). (2021)
Reviews of Individual Studies 12-PS -1
Digital messaging to improve college enrollment and success. (2021)
Reviews of Individual Studies 12-PS -1
Nudging at scale: Experimental evidence from FAFSA completion campaigns. (2021)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Are artificially intelligent conversational chatbots uniformly effective in reducing summer melt? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial. (2021)
Our field experiment extends prior work on college matriculation by testing the extent to which an artificially intelligent (AI) chatbot's outreach and support to college students (N = 4442) reduced summer melt and improved first-year college enrollment at a 4-year university. Specifically, we investigate which students the intervention proves most effective for. We find that the AI chatbot increased overall success with navigating financial aid processes, such that student take up of educational loans increased by four percentage points. This financial aid effect was concentrated among would-be first-generation college goers, for whom loan acceptances increased by eight percentage points. In addition, the outreach increased first-generation students' success with course registration and fall semester enrollment each by three percentage points. Our findings suggest that proactive chatbot outreach to students is likely to be most successful in reducing summer melt among those who may need the chatbot support the most.
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Do Judgments of Learning Directly Enhance Learning of Educational Materials? (2021)
When people make judgments of learning (JOLs) after studying paired associates, the process they engage in to monitor their learning can directly enhance learning for some types of material (Soderstrom et al. 2015). The current experiments investigated whether JOLs directly enhance learning educationally relevant texts. Across 5 experiments (N = 703), people read several sections of an educational textbook with or without JOLs embedded between each section. We manipulated whether JOLs queried one's understanding of the text at the aggregate level (Experiment 1) or for specific concepts in the text (Experiment 2a, 2b, 3, and 4). We also manipulated whether JOLs were framed to afford covert retrieval practice by prompting judgments with either the target information present or absent (Experiment 3). In most cases, instructing students to make JOLs did not improve comprehension above and beyond just reading the text. However, when people were instructed to retrieve information prior to making JOLs (Experiment 4), large learning gains occurred. These results indicate that JOLs in their standard form are unlikely to produce educational benefits to text comprehension in part because learners do not spontaneously retrieve criterial information when making metacomprehension judgments.
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Does taking a few courses at a community college improve the baccalaureate, STEM, and labor market outcomes of four-year college students? CCRC Working Paper No. 122. (2020)
Nationally, 38.5% of the students who began at a four-year college in 2011-12 attended another college within the first six years of college entry, and more than half of these students attended a community college. Eight percent of students who began at a four-year institution took up to 10 credits at a community college during the same period. Given the number of students involved, it is helpful to better understand how this kind of postsecondary enrollment pattern affects students. This paper considers a sample of "supplementally enrolled" students who began in and primarily enrolled in four-year colleges but who also earned limited numbers of credits at community colleges. We use student data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 and a propensity score matching approach to compare key outcomes of four-year college students who earned 1 to 10 credits at two-year colleges during their first three years at college with those of four-year college students who never earned credits in a two-year college. Many of the supplementally enrolled students took STEM courses at a two-year college. We find that the supplementally enrolled students had higher STEM and total credits earned, higher bachelor's degree attainment, and better employment outcomes than the students who never earned credits from a two-year college. Subgroup results also suggest that supplemental enrollment can potentially improve STEM degree attainment outcomes, particularly for low-socioeconomic-status and female students.
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Experimental evidence on the impacts of need-based financial aid: Longitudinal assessment of the Wisconsin Scholars Grant. (2020)
We conduct the first long-term experimental evaluation of a need-based financial aid program, the privately funded Wisconsin Scholars Grant. Over multiple cohorts, the program failed to increase degree completion and graduate school enrollment up to 10 years after matriculation. The program did reduce time-to-degree for some students and modestly increased the number of STEM degrees earned. The lack of robust effects raises important questions about the conditions necessary for financial aid to benefit students.
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Evaluation of Travis County investments in workforce development: 2020 update (2020)
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Can Light-Touch College-Going Interventions Make a Difference? Evidence from a Statewide Experiment in Michigan (2020)
I conduct a statewide experiment in Michigan with nearly 50,000 high-achieving high school seniors. Treated students are mailed a letter encouraging them to consider college and providing them with the web address of a college information website. I find that very high-achieving, low-income students, and very high-achieving, minority students are the most likely to navigate to the website. Small changes to letter content affect take-up. For example, highlighting college affordability induces 18 percent more students to the website than highlighting college choice, and 37 percent more than highlighting how to apply to college. I find a statistically precise zero impact on college enrollment among all students who were mailed the letter. However, low-income students experience a small increase in the probability that they enroll in college, driven by increases at four-year institutions. An examination of persistence through college, while imprecise, suggests that the students induced into college by the intervention persist at a lower rate than the inframarginal student.
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Dual-credit courses and the road to college: Experimental evidence from Tennessee. (2020)
Dual-credit courses expose high school students to college-level content and provide the opportunity to earn college credits, in part to smooth the transition to college. With the Tennessee Department of Education, we conduct the first randomized controlled trial of the effects of dual-credit math coursework on a range of high school and college outcomes. We find that the dual-credit advanced algebra course alters students' subsequent high school math course-taking, reducing enrollment in remedial math and boosting enrollment in precalculus and Advanced Placement math courses. We fail to detect an effect of the dual-credit math course on overall rates of college enrollment. However, the course induces some students to choose four-year universities instead of two-year colleges, particularly for those in the middle of the math achievement distribution and those first exposed to the opportunity to take the course in eleventh rather than twelfth grade. We see limited evidence of improvements in early math performance during college.
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A social-belonging intervention improves STEM outcomes for students who speak English as a second language (2020)
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The effects of need-based financial aid on employment and earnings: Experimental evidence from the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars. Working Paper 27125. (2020)
In this paper, we leverage the random assignment of a need-based financial aid grant offer--the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars (FFWS) grant--and several sets of administrative records to provide experimental evidence on the effects of the grant offer on students' in-state employment and earnings. For students in four-year universities, our results demonstrate significant employment reductions in the two years immediately following the aid offer as well as in the sixth, seventh, and eighth after receiving the randomized grant offer. We also find the aid offer to reduce these students' in-state earnings throughout the full eight-year period we study. However, we show that the aid offer increases student grade point average, suggesting that the employment and earnings reductions during students' in-college years are attributable to a reallocation of time and effort away from employment and toward coursework. For students' post-college years, we provide suggestive evidence that the reductions are attributable to a combination of two mechanisms: 1) Reduced loan debt offering greater financial flexibility when selecting among employment options, and 2) Offer-induced outstate migration. We find little evidence that the FFWS grant offer affects the labor market outcomes of students in two-year institutions, although the effects for students in technical colleges are significantly more positive than the effects for students in two-year colleges in the University of Wisconsin System. [Financial support for this research was provided by the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars (FFWS).]
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Using technology to redesign college advising and student support: Findings and lessons from three colleges' efforts to build on the iPASS initiative. (2020)
College students have a better chance of succeeding in school when they receive high-quality advising. High-quality advising, when characterized by frequent communications between advisers and students, early outreach to students showing signs of academic or nonacademic struggles, and personalized guidance that addresses individual student needs, is ideal. It can be a crucial factor in student outcomes, academic and otherwise. But strained financial resources and personnel constraints at many community colleges and broad-access universities -- where advisers often have large caseloads -- means most students' advising experiences are limited to a handful of interactions that focus mostly on course registration. Technology tools may help. Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) is an initiative designed to help colleges redesign advising practices using technology. The iPASS goal is to use technology to support reforms aimed at improving communication and outreach to students, identifying and supporting struggling students, increasing the number and quality of advising ses­sions, and to ultimately improve students' short- and long-term academic outcomes. To study how technology can support advising redesign, MDRC and the Community College Research Center partnered with three institutions already implementing iPASS that wanted to enhance their existing advising practices, including their standard iPASS services: California State University, Fresno; Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In general, the colleges focused their enhancements on three areas: expanding infor­mational messages to students, identifying and supporting students who are struggling, and redesigning advis­ing sessions. The study used a randomized controlled trial design, assigning students at random to a group eligible to receive the enhanced iPASS services for two semesters, or to a group eligible to receive the colleges' standard services, including standard iPASS. Thus, the study is not a test of iPASS, but a test of enhanced advising relative to standard practice under previous iPASS activities. This final report from the project, which began in 2016, summarizes the program's implementation and its effects on students' academic outcomes for four semesters after study entry. The implemen­tation research indicates that the enhancements led to a small difference in the student experience -- the colleges saw an increase in communication with students, a small increase in the number of meetings between students and advisers, and, at two of the three colleges, an increase in the proportion of students who, along with their advisers, received early alerts if the student was struggling in a given course. However, the updated impact findings show the enhancements did not have positive effects on academic outcomes. Additionally, the enhancements caused a small reduction in credits earned at one college, most likely because some students could not register for the next semester until they had attended mandatory advising sessions. Mounting evidence from the study of education reforms suggests improving students' academic out­comes requires more substantial changes to their college experiences. Reflecting a tension between scale and intensity, the study colleges managed to bring their iPASS work to more students, but the enhancements were not intense enough to create a substantial difference in students' experiences. Adopting new technology and using it to redesign advising is an iterative process, and it takes time. This effort should be viewed as one step in the process of achieving broader change. The findings from the project may serve as a useful guide to colleges as they move forward.
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The Impact of a Goal-Setting Intervention for Engineering Students on Academic Probation (2020)
Many degree-seeking college students struggle academically and ultimately never graduate. Academic challenges and persistence within the major are especially salient issues for students who major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Academic probation serves as a means for informing students that they are at risk of dismissal, and many colleges and universities offer services to help students placed on probation to succeed academically. This paper presents two studies that examined the effectiveness of a goal-setting academic advising intervention for improving the grades of engineering students who were on academic probation; one study used a regression discontinuity design, and the other used an experimental design. The findings of both studies support the same overall conclusion: The intervention notably increased the grades of engineering students on probation who are beyond their first year of college, but it was not effective for students in their first year. This brief academic enhancement intervention appears to constitute a cost-effective strategy for bolstering the academic success of at-risk college students after their first year.
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Limited Support for Use of a Social-Belonging Intervention with First-Year Engineering Students (2020)
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Long-Term Impacts of KIPP Middle Schools on College Enrollment and Early College Persistence (2019)
In this report, we present the results of a long-term tracking study that follows 1,177 students who applied to enter 1 of 13 oversubscribed KIPP middle schools through a 5th or 6th grade admissions lottery in 2008 or 2009. Those students are now old enough to have attended college for at least two years. This study uses a randomized controlled trial design to ensure that students who were offered admission to a KIPP middle school (the treatment group) are similar on average to students who did not receive an offer of admission (the control group) on both observable characteristics, such as prior test scores, and unobservable characteristics, such as levels of motivation and parental support.
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Integrating Technology and Advising: Studying Enhancements to Colleges&apos; iPASS Practices (2019)
Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support colleges seeking to incorporate technology into their advising and student services. In iPASS, such technology is intended to increase advising's emphasis on a student's entire college experience, enabling advisors to more easily: (1) intervene when students show early warning signs of academic and nonacademic challenges; (2) regularly follow up as students progress through college; (3) refer students to tutoring and other support services when needed; and (4) provide personalized guidance that reflects students' unique needs. MDRC and CCRC partnered with three institutions already implementing iPASS--California State University, Fresno; Montgomery County Community College; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte--to study how technology can support advising redesign, employing a randomized controlled trial research design. The three institutions increased their emphasis on providing timely support, boosted their use of advising technologies, and used administrative and communication strategies to increase student contact with advisors. The enhancements generally produced only a modestly different experience for students in the program group compared with students in the control group, although at one college, the enhancements did substantially increase the number of students who had contact with an advisor. Consequently, it is not surprising that the enhancements have so far had no discernible positive effects on students' academic performance. Nonetheless, some staff members indicated in interviews that implementing and enhancing iPASS has enabled their institution to take steps toward a stronger system to support students and help them succeed.
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Project COMPASS: Final evaluation report. (2019)
This report presents the findings from an external evaluation of Project COMPASS, an effort by Wake Technical Community College to redesign community college online courses to improve outcomes, particularly for students of color. The evaluation used a randomized controlled trial in which students were randomly assigned to course sections taught by instructors trained in the project's instructional strategies (treatment instructors) or instructors who were not trained (control instructors). Treatment students were less likely to drop or withdraw from the course. Impacts differed by course with substantial positive impacts in one course and negative impacts in another. Findings on implementation suggest that higher levels of implementation of the targeted strategies were associated with better outcomes. Wake Tech also experienced institutional changes as a result of their participation in this project.
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The remarkable unresponsiveness of college students to nudging and what we can learn from it. NBER Working Paper No. 26059. (2019)
We present results from a five-year effort to design promising online and text-message interventions to improve college achievement through several distinct channels. From a sample of nearly 25,000 students across three different campuses, we find some improvement from coaching-based interventions on mental health and study time, but none of the interventions we evaluate significantly influences academic outcomes (even for those students more at risk of dropping out). We interpret the results with our survey data and a model of student effort. Students study about five to eight hours fewer each week than they plan to, though our interventions do not alter this tendency. The coaching interventions make some students realize that more effort is needed to attain good grades but, rather than working harder, they settle by adjusting grade expectations downwards. Our study time impacts are not large enough for translating into significant academic benefits. More comprehensive but expensive programs appear more promising for helping college students outside the classroom. [Financial support was received from the Social Science Research Council of Canada (Insight Grant #435-2018-0268 and Insight Development Grant # 430-2017-00779), the Jamal Poverty Action Lab, and the University of Toronto's Learning and Education Advancement Fund.]
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A randomized controlled trial of a modularized, computer-assisted, self-paced approach to developmental math (2019)
Community colleges are a large sector of postsecondary education. In 2016-2017, the United States had nearly 1,000 public 2-year postsecondary institutions (community colleges), serving almost nine million students, representing 39% of all undergraduates. The majority of entering community college students require developmental (or remedial) math. Success rates in the developmental math course sequence and college more broadly are discouragingly low. Policymakers, practitioners, and researchers alike are eagerly searching for reforms to improve success rates, but there is a dearth of causal evidence on the effectiveness of most proposed reforms. We sought to answer the following question: what effect does a modularized, computer-assisted, self-paced approach to developmental math (compared with a more "traditional" direct-instruction course alternative) have on students' likelihood of completing the developmental math course sequence? Findings from a randomized controlled trial (n=1,403) are presented. The program was well implemented; however, we did not find evidence that this approach was superior to the "traditional" math class. Although these results are disappointing, they are important because modularization and self-paced computer-assisted instruction are popular reforms. [This article was published in "Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness" (EJ1229042).]
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Examining the impacts of intrusive advising on the retention and academic success of first-year, at-risk, community college students (Doctoral dissertation) (2019)
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Goal setting, academic reminders, and college success: A large-scale field experiment. (2019)
This article presents an independent large-scale experimental evaluation of two online goal-setting interventions. Both interventions are based on promising findings from the field of social psychology. Approximately 1,400 first-year undergraduate students at a large Canadian university were randomly assigned to complete one of two online goal-setting treatments or a control task. In addition, half of treated participants were offered the opportunity to receive follow-up goal-oriented reminders through e-mail or text messages to test a cost-effective method for increasing the saliency of treatment. Across all treatment groups, we observed no evidence of an effect on grade point average, course credits, or second-year persistence. Our estimates are precise enough to discern a 7% standardized performance effect at a 5% significance level. Our results hold by subsample, for various outcome variables, and across a number of specifications.
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Interim Findings Report: MAAPS Advising Experiment (2019)
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Is information enough? The effect of information about education tax benefits on student outcomes. (2019)
There is increasing evidence that tax benefits for college do not affect college enrollment. This may be because prospective students do not know about tax benefits for college or because the design of tax benefits is not conducive to affecting educational outcomes. We focus on changing awareness of tax benefits by providing information to students or prospective students. We sent e-mails and letters to students that described tax benefits for college, and we tracked college outcomes. For all three of our samples--rising high school seniors, already enrolled students, and students who had previously applied to college but were not currently enrolled--information about tax benefits for college did not affect enrollment or reenrollment. We test whether effects vary according to information frames and found that no treatment arms changed student outcomes. We conclude that awareness is not the primary reason that tax benefits for college do not affect enrollment.
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Does inducing students to schedule lecture watching in online classes improve their academic performance? An experimental analysis of a time management intervention (2019)
Time management skills are an essential component of college student success, especially in online classes. Through a randomized control trial of students in a for-credit online course at a public 4-year university, we test the efficacy of a scheduling intervention aimed at improving students' time management. Results indicate the intervention had positive effects on initial achievement scores; students who were given the opportunity to schedule their lecture watching in advance scored about a third of a standard deviation better on the first quiz than students who were not given that opportunity. These effects are concentrated in students with the lowest self-reported time management skills. However, these effects diminish over time such that we see a marginally significant negative effect of treatment on the last week's quiz grade and no difference in overall course scores. We examine the effect of the intervention on plausible mechanisms to explain the observed achievement effects. We find no evidence that the intervention affected cramming, procrastination, or the time at which students did work.
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Curricular learning communities and retention (2019)
Learning communities have been a part of the higher educational landscape since the 1980s. Despite their widespread use, research regarding their effectiveness with enhancing retention is sparse. This study describes a freshmen curricular learning community linking courses required for all business majors. Retention for students taking courses in a curricular learning community is compared to retention for students taking the same courses independent from a learning community. Analysis of the data indicates that students who participated in the learning community were twice as likely to persist to the following semester than the students in the baseline comparison group. The results provide evidence that purposeful structuring of courses in a curricular learning community with support imbedded to help students succeed is associated with improved retention.
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Conditions for success: Fostering first-year students' growth mindset in developmental mathematics (2019)
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Improving general chemistry performance through a growth mindset intervention: Selective effects on underrepresented minorities (2018)
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Aid after enrollment: Impacts of a statewide grant program at public two-year colleges. (2018)
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When "low touch" is not enough: Evidence from a random assignment college access field experiment (PWP-CCPR-2018-008). (2018)
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Closing the Gap: The effect of a targeted, tuition-free promise on college choices of high-achieving, low-income students. (2018)
Low-income students, even those with strong academic credentials, are unlikely to attend a highly selective college. With a field experiment, we test an intervention to increase enrollment of low-income students at the highly selective University of Michigan. We contact students (as well as their parents and principals) with an encouragement to apply and a promise of four years of free tuition and fees upon admission. Materials emphasize that this offer is not contingent on completing aid applications (e.g., the FAFSA or PROFILE). Treated students were more than twice as likely to apply to (67 percent vs. 26 percent) and enroll at (27 percent vs. 12 percent) the University of Michigan. There was no diversion from schools as (or more) selective as UM. The enrollment effect of 15 percentage points (pp) comprises students who would otherwise attend a less selective, four-year college (7 pp), a community college (4 pp), or no college (4 pp). Effects persist through two years of follow-up. The intervention closed by half the income gaps in college choice among Michigan's high-achieving students. We conclude that an encouragement to apply, paired with a promise of aid, when communicated to students and influential adults, can substantially close income gaps in college choices.
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Reducing inequality in academic success for incoming college students: A randomized trial of growth mindset and belonging interventions (2018)
Light-touch social psychological interventions have gained considerable attention for their potential to improve academic outcomes for underrepresented and/or disadvantaged students in postsecondary education. While findings from previous interventions have demonstrated positive effects for racial and ethnic minority and first-generation students in small samples, few interventions have been implemented at a larger scale with more heterogeneous student populations. To address this research gap, 7,686 students, representing more than 90% of incoming first-year students at a large Midwestern public university, were randomly assigned to an online growth mindset intervention, social belonging intervention, or a comparison group. Results suggest that after the fall semester, the growth mindset intervention significantly improved grade point averages for Latino/a students by about 0.40 points. This represents a 72% reduction in the GPA gap between White and Latino/a students. Further, this effect was replicated for both spring semester GPA and cumulative GPA. These findings indicate that light-touch interventions may be a minimally invasive approach to improving academic outcomes for underrepresented students. Our findings also highlight the complexity of implementing customized belonging interventions in heterogeneous contexts.
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The effects of computers and acquired skills on earnings, employment and college enrollment: Evidence from a field experiment and California UI earnings records. (2018)
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Student-Produced Videos Can Enhance Engagement and Learning in the Online Environment. (2018)
Student engagement in online learning remains a challenge for the design of effective coursework. Additionally, few analyses have focused on student-produced activities in the online mode or upon how such class activity affects student subgroups differently. We conducted a randomized design experiment with student video production at a large public university. Student background and behavior factors were measured in two online surveys, which were combined with course assessment data. Because of the small sample size, we observed few significant differences in learning outcomes across the experimental treatment and control sections, except with regard to a value-added measure. We suggest that student learning was likely most concentrated on concepts around which students produced the videos. And when students were divided by incoming language proficiency, non-native English speakers had higher perceived learning; but when grouped by incoming GPA, those with higher previous grades actually achieved higher test scores and pass rates.
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Madison Area Technical College Patient Care Pathway program: Implementation and early impact report (OPRE Report No. 2018-48) (2018)
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Madison Area Technical College Patient Care Pathway Program: Implementation and Early Impact Report Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) (2018)
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Quick, easy mindset intervention can boost academic achievement in large introductory psychology classes (2018)
Having a growth mindset has been shown to predict better academic performance in a variety of educational settings. Efforts to instill a growth mindset through educational interventions have demonstrated positive effects on academic success. However, many of the interventions previously tested are relatively time intensive and costly for some instructors at large research-intensive institutions. In this study, we find that a quick and easy mindset intervention can produce some gains in academic performance. This intervention involved no class time, little prep-work, and was easily disseminated to a 300-student Introductory Psychology lecture. Participants (N = 278) were randomly assigned to receive a growth mindset, fixed mindset, or control letter from their instructor after their first midterm exam. Nine weeks post-intervention, participants were given a manipulation check to see who read and remembered their letter's message. Of participants who passed the manipulation check (N = 86), those in the growth mindset condition outperform their fixed mindset counterparts by as much as 9%.
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The effect of online discussion board frequency on student performance in adult learners (2017)
Classroom discussion boards are a vital part of the online educational experience, providing a venue for peer to peer and student to faculty interactions. However, institutional feedback from students at a large open enrollment university has shown that excess focus on online discussions may lead to fatigue, resulting in lower student satisfaction, and in turn, performance. As such, researchers hypothesized that a reduction from two to one required weekly discussions by program administrators would improve student grade point average (GPA), withdraw rate, fail rate, and progression. Using a variety of revision techniques, program administrators revised seven courses over multiple disciplines to reduce required discussion interaction from two to one discussion per week. Resulting data from over 900 students showed that across all courses, no significant differences were seen in average GPA, fail rate, and progression between experimental and control groups (p > 0.47). However, a trend was observed for decreased withdraw rates as courses shifted from two weekly discussions (9.6%) to one (7.2%) (p = 0.19). The method of course revision appeared to effect the GPA and fail rate across some individual courses. Combining two discussions into one larger discussion and pooling assessment points seemed to have negative impacts on withdraw rates and fail rates, while shorter discussions with lower point values were correlated with increased achievement. Based on the study, it appears that adult learners in online courses prefer one weekly discussion over two as illustrated by the decreased withdraw rate in experimental groups. Additionally, students show improved performance with greater assessment weight focused on assignments over discussions. Results suggest that program administrators and faculty might benefit from structuring programs focused on adult online learners with one minimally weighted discussion board per week.
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The Impact of the Student Support Services Program on the Retention of Students at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. (2017)
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Academic advising: Measuring the effects of “proactive” interventions on student outcomes. (2017)
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Increasing community college completion rates among low-income students: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial evaluation of a case management intervention. (2017)
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Female peer mentors early in college increase women’s positive academic experiences and retention in engineering. (2017)
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Career Development Courses and Educational Outcomes.  (2017)
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Determining the Impact of a Summer Bridge Program on Academic Success for First-Year College Students (2016)
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a summer bridge program geared toward first-year students at a large public university located in the Southeastern United States. The research question guiding this study was, "Does participation in a summer bridge program increase academic success for first-year college students?" I defined academic success outcomes as students' first-year fall semester grade point average, end-of first- year grade point average, first-year fall semester credit hours earned, first-year spring semester credit hours earned, end-of-first-year credit hours earned, and retention to the second year at the university. The primary methodological approach was propensity score analysis, specifically inverse probability weighting, used to compare participants in the Summer Bridge Program at the selected university to similar non-participant matches. To supplement the research and support gaps in the literature on summer bridge programs, I used basic interpretive qualitative inquiry to explore the experiences of past summer bridge program participants to understand why they became involved in the unique program researched. Four themes emerged from the exploratory study of past participants: eagerness to start college, interest in getting ahead, parallel peer comparisons, and building a peer network. The results of the evaluation study did not suggest a definitive positive impact of the Summer Bridge Program on the academic success of the first-year students who participated. In the primary analysis, a positive impact was only found for end-of-year credit hours earned. Overall, this study contributes empirical results to the literature on summer bridge programs by exploring the impact on academic success of a program that is distinctive from others by being open to all first-year college students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
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Effectiveness of integrated simulation and clinical experiences compared to traditional clinical experiences for nursing students. (2016)
AIM The focus of this research study was the evaluation of the effectiveness of using high-fidelity simulations to replace 50 percent of traditional clinical experiences in obstetrics, pediatrics, critical care, and mental health nursing. BACKGROUND Increasing student admissions to nursing programs require additional clinical learning opportunities to accommodate extra students. METHOD Three schools with associate degree nursing programs partnered to identify, implement, and evaluate a creative solution to this dilemma. The resulting quasi-experimental study investigated if substituting half of the conventional clinical experiences with simulations was as effective as traditional clinical activities in obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health, and critical care. One hour of simulation counted for two hours of clinical time. RESULTS Findings indicated combining simulations with conventional clinical experiences resulted in significantly higher scores on the pre-graduation exit exam than traditional clinical experiences alone. CONCLUSIONS Findings have implications for articulation and basic students in associate degree nursing programs.
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Three Studies on Student Outcomes in Higher Education (2016)
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Teaching a lay theory before college narrows achievement gaps at scale [Experiment 2] (2016)
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Teaching a lay theory before college narrows achievement gaps at scale [Experiment 3] (2016)
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Reappraising Stress Arousal Improves Performance and Reduces Evaluation Anxiety in Classroom Exam Situations (2016)
For students to thrive in the U.S. educational system, they must successfully cope with omnipresent demands of exams. Nearly all students experience testing situations as stressful, and signs of stress (e.g., racing heart) are typically perceived negatively. This research tested the efficacy of a psycho situational intervention targeting cognitive appraisals of stress to improve classroom exam performance. Ninety-three students (across five semesters) enrolled in a community college developmental mathematics course were randomly assigned to stress reappraisal or placebo control conditions. Reappraisal instructions educated students about the adaptive benefits of stress arousal, whereas placebo materials instructed students to ignore stress. Reappraisal students reported less math evaluation anxiety and exhibited improved math exam performance relative to controls. Mediation analysis indicated reappraisal improved performance by increasing students’ perceptions of their ability to cope with the stressful testing situation (resource appraisals). Implications for theory development and policy are discussed.
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Scaling academic planning in community college: A randomized controlled trial (REL 2017–204) (2016)
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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Report to College Bound St. Louis on the Implementation and Impact of the 2014 Summer Melt Intervention Utilizing Bridgit (2015b)
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Stay late or start early? Experimental evidence on the benefits of college matriculation support from high schools versus colleges (2015a)
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Self-Regulated Strategy Instruction in College Developmental Writing (2015)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a curriculum for college developmental writing classes, developed in prior design research and based on self-regulated strategy instruction. Students learned strategies for planning, drafting, and revising compositions with an emphasis on using knowledge of genre organization to guide planning and self-evaluation. In addition to specific writing strategies, students learned strategies for self-regulation. This quasi-experimental study involved 13 instructors and 276 students in 19 developmental writing classes at 2 universities. The curriculum was taught for a full semester in 9 classes and compared with a business-as-usual control condition in 10 classes. Significant positive effects were found for overall quality of writing on a persuasive essay (ES = 1.22), and for length (ES = 0.71), but not for grammar. Significant positive effects were also found for self-efficacy and mastery motivation.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates? [Dallas] (2015)
A report released in April 2013 by Benjamin L Castleman of Harvard University and Lindsay C. Page of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University examines the implications of two forms of interventions during the summer between high school and the first year of college on college enrollment. "Summer Nudging: Can Personalized Text Messages and Peer Mentor Outreach Increase College Going Among Low-Income High School Graduates?" details findings that text message reminders and peer mentor outreach programs can be an effective way to mitigate summer attrition. The report details two large-scale randomized trials done in collaboration with three educational agencies: the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), uAspire (a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on college affordability), and Mastery Charter Schools (a network of charter schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan area). Castleman and Page reveal the positive impact these low-cost initiatives can have on college enrollment within low-income communities during an increasingly technological era.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates? [Philadelphia] (2015)
A report released in April 2013 by Benjamin L Castleman of Harvard University and Lindsay C. Page of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University examines the implications of two forms of interventions during the summer between high school and the first year of college on college enrollment. "Summer Nudging: Can Personalized Text Messages and Peer Mentor Outreach Increase College Going Among Low-Income High School Graduates?" details findings that text message reminders and peer mentor outreach programs can be an effective way to mitigate summer attrition. The report details two large-scale randomized trials done in collaboration with three educational agencies: the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), uAspire (a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on college affordability), and Mastery Charter Schools (a network of charter schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan area). Castleman and Page reveal the positive impact these low-cost initiatives can have on college enrollment within low-income communities during an increasingly technological era.
Reviews of Individual Studies 12-PS -1
Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates? (2015)
A report released in April 2013 by Benjamin L Castleman of Harvard University and Lindsay C. Page of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University examines the implications of two forms of interventions during the summer between high school and the first year of college on college enrollment. "Summer Nudging: Can Personalized Text Messages and Peer Mentor Outreach Increase College Going Among Low-Income High School Graduates?" details findings that text message reminders and peer mentor outreach programs can be an effective way to mitigate summer attrition. The report details two large-scale randomized trials done in collaboration with three educational agencies: the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), uAspire (a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on college affordability), and Mastery Charter Schools (a network of charter schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan area). Castleman and Page reveal the positive impact these low-cost initiatives can have on college enrollment within low-income communities during an increasingly technological era.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
A random assignment evaluation of learning communities at Kingsborough Community College: Seven years later (2015)
Community colleges play a vital role in higher education, enrolling more than one in every three postsecondary students. While the market share of these institutions has grown over the past 50 years, students' success rates remain low. Consequently, community college stakeholders are searching with mounting urgency for strategies that increase rates of success. We evaluate the effects of one such strategy, learning communities, from a randomized trial of over 1,500 students at a large urban college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Findings indicate that the program's positive effects on short-term academic progress (credit accumulation) are maintained seven years after random assignment. In addition, the analysis provides some limited evidence that the program positively affected graduation rates, particularly for those students without remedial English needs, over this period. At the same time, however, there is no discernible evidence that the program improved economic outcomes. This paper concludes by offering sobering reflections on trying to detect the effects of higher education interventions on future earnings.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates? [Boston] (2015)
A report released in April 2013 by Benjamin L Castleman of Harvard University and Lindsay C. Page of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University examines the implications of two forms of interventions during the summer between high school and the first year of college on college enrollment. "Summer Nudging: Can Personalized Text Messages and Peer Mentor Outreach Increase College Going Among Low-Income High School Graduates?" details findings that text message reminders and peer mentor outreach programs can be an effective way to mitigate summer attrition. The report details two large-scale randomized trials done in collaboration with three educational agencies: the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), uAspire (a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on college affordability), and Mastery Charter Schools (a network of charter schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan area). Castleman and Page reveal the positive impact these low-cost initiatives can have on college enrollment within low-income communities during an increasingly technological era.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Closing achievement gaps with a utility-value intervention: Disentangling race and social class. (2015)
Many college students abandon their goal of completing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) when confronted with challenging introductory-level science courses. In the U.S., this trend is more pronounced for underrepresented minority (URM) and first-generation (FG) students, and contributes to persisting racial and social-class achievement gaps in higher education. Previous intervention studies have focused exclusively on race or social class, but have not examined how the 2 may be confounded and interact. This research therefore investigates the independent and interactive effects of race and social class as moderators of an intervention designed to promote performance, measured by grade in the course. In a double-blind randomized experiment conducted over 4 semesters of an introductory biology course (N = 1,040), we tested the effectiveness of a utility-value intervention in which students wrote about the personal relevance of course material. The utility-value intervention was successful in reducing the achievement gap for FG-URM students by 61%: the performance gap for FG-URM students, relative to continuing generation (CG)-Majority students, was large in the control condition, 0.84 grade points (d = 0.98), and the treatment effect for FG-URM students was 0.51 grade points (d = 0.55). The UV intervention helped students from all groups find utility value in the course content, and mediation analyses showed that the process of writing about utility value was particularly powerful for FG-URM students. Results highlight the importance of intersectionality in examining the independent and interactive effects of race and social class when evaluating interventions to close achievement gaps and the mechanisms through which they may operate. [At the time of the submission to ERIC, this article was in press with "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology."]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Freshman year financial aid nudges: An experiment to increase FAFSA renewal and college persistence. (2014)
While considerable effort has been invested to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors, there has been much less investment to ensure that college freshmen re-apply for financial aid. Text messaging is a promising approach to inform students of important stages in the financial aid re-application process and to connect them to professional assistance when they need help. Building on a previous experiment, this paper examines and investigates the impact of financial aid-related prompts on whether college freshman re-apply for aid and persist into sophomore year. This study provides rigorous, experimental evidence on the impact of freshman-year financial aid text reminders on students' college persistence. The experimental sample includes students who were assigned to the summer 2012 text messaging treatment group and who were enrolled in college in Fall 2012. 774 students met these conditions. Researchers randomly assigned 387 students to receive the freshman year financial aid text messaging intervention and 384 students to the control group. By virtue of using a randomized control trial design to select which students would receive the financial aid texts, researchers are able to employ straightforward regression analyses to isolate the causal effect of the messaging campaign on students' college attainment. Preliminary data indicates a substantial response from students to the financial aid nudges. These findings are relevant both to ongoing policy efforts to increase college success and completion among low-income students and, more generally, to efforts to harness technology to improve students' educational outcomes. Figures are appended.
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Keeping students on course: An impact study of a student success course at Guilford Technical Community College. (2012)
Improving the success of academically underprepared students who are in need of developmental (or remedial) education is a key challenge facing community colleges today. Many of these students enter college with little awareness of these institutions' expectations or a clear model for how to make effective decisions about their academic careers. To help students address these challenges, a number of colleges across the country have looked to success courses (also called study skills, student development, or new student orientation courses). This report analyzes a success course for developmental education students at Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and its impact on students' psychosocial skills and behaviors and academic achievement. After joining Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count in 2004, a national organization designed to mentor colleges through an institutionwide, student success-oriented improvement process, Guilford chose to offer a revised version of its student success course to developmental education students, aimed at improving psychosocial awareness and academic achievement. Modeled on Skip Downing's "On Course" philosophy and curriculum, it placed an intensive focus on changing students' behaviors and attitudes, including increasing their awareness of their and others' emotions, understanding their own learning styles, improving time management skills, and recognizing their responsibility for their own learning. Guilford hoped that these changes in students' personal habits and behaviors might help them take better control of their academic lives, which would ultimately result in gains in achievement. This study employed random assignment methodology to examine the impact of Guilford's success course. The key findings presented in this report are: (1) Guilford's implementation of its student success course stayed true to the "On Course" philosophy, with a strong emphasis on improving students skills and habits; (2) Challenges emerged during the study in maintaining instructors' enthusiasm for teaching the course; (3) The course had a positive impact on students' self-management, interdependence, self-awareness, interest in lifelong learning, emotional intelligence, and engagement in college among students with low levels of these attributes; and (4) But the gains in efficacy did not lead to meaningful effects on students' academic achievement during the program semester or in postprogram semesters. Despite the absence of an overall effect, the program did have positive effects on the first cohort of students enrolled in the study, with students demonstrating improved grades, retention in college, and credits earned. The results of this study reveal that improvements in students' attitudes and behaviors may not necessarily translate easily into better academic outcomes, though the strength of program implementation may play an important role in these effects. Additionally, the program's limited effects suggest that community colleges should look to more comprehensive ways of improving developmental education students' academic achievement, including reforms in developmental education instruction. Appended are: (1) Technical Appendix; (2) Sensitivity Analysis; and (3) Survey Outcomes by Cohort. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 13 tables and 3 boxes.) [For "Keeping Students on Course: An Impact Study of a Student Success Course at Guilford Technical Community College. Executive Summary," see ED531181.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Learning communities for students in developmental English: Impact studies at Merced College and the Community College of Baltimore County. (2012)
Across the United States, community colleges offer millions of students an open-access, low-cost postsecondary education. However, of the students who enroll in community college hoping to earn a credential or transfer to a four-year institution, only about half achieve their goal within six years. For students who enter college needing developmental (remedial) education in reading, writing, or math, this rate is even lower. Learning communities, in which cohorts of students enroll in two or more linked courses together, are often employed to improve these students' success. In addition to linking courses, learning communities often incorporate other components, such as faculty collaboration, shared assignments and curricula, and connections to student support services. Merced College in California and The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) each developed learning communities designed to boost the academic success of their developmental English students. These colleges are two of the six in the National Center for Postsecondary Research's (NCPR) Learning Communities Demonstration, in which random assignment evaluations are being used to determine the impacts of learning communities on student success. At Merced, learning communities linked developmental English courses with a variety of other courses at the developmental and college levels. At CCBC, learning communities linked developmental English with a range of college-level courses and a weekly one-hour Master Learner session designed to support curricular integration and student learning. The key findings presented in this report are: (1) Both Merced and CCBC implemented relatively advanced learning communities. A strong cohort experience was provided to students, and other aspects of the learning communities model were implemented with variation at each college. On average, the colleges succeeded in providing program group students with an experience that was substantially different from the experience of their control group counterparts; (2) At Merced, learning communities students attempted and earned significantly more developmental English credits than students in the control group during the program semester. At the end of the subsequent semester, they had passed significantly more English courses than their control group counterparts; (3) At CCBC, there were no meaningful impacts on students' credit attempts or progress in developmental English; and (4) On average, neither college's learning communities program had an impact on college registration in the postprogram semester, or on cumulative credits earned. NCPR has now presented findings from all six colleges in the demonstration. They show that when one-semester learning communities have impacts, they tend to be concentrated in the semester in which students are enrolled in the program. The evidence to date suggests that one-semester learning communities programs by themselves are typically not sufficient to boost reenrollment or increase credit accumulation. However, this is not the final report on the demonstration; in 2012, NCPR will release a report that synthesizes the findings across all of the colleges studied and includes an additional semester of student follow-up at each college. Supplementary table and figures are appended. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 11 tables, 9 figures and 1 box.) [This paper was written with Amanda Grossman. References for the executive summary are included. For "Learning Communities for Students in Developmental English: Impact Studies at Merced College and the Community College of Baltimore County. Executive Summary," see ED529250.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Efficacy of advising outreach on student retention, academic progress and achievement, and frequency of advising contacts: A longitudinal randomized trial (2012)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Can scholarships alone help students succeed? Lessons from two New York City community colleges. (2012)
The passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which extended need-based financial assistance to the general population for the first time, has improved college access for American students, but more work remains to be done to improve college success. According to government statistics, in 2006, about one in six students had earned a degree or certificate three years after beginning their postsecondary education at a two-year institution. Low-income students are particularly at risk of not persisting to complete a certificate or degree--often because of competing priorities, financial pressures, and inadequate preparation for college. Among low-income students, older students have added barriers to postsecondary success. Students in their twenties and thirties often have outside additional obligations such as work and child-care responsibilities. The federal and state grant aid available to adult learners is often not enough to cover education-related costs, such as tuition, books and supplies, transportation, and basic living expenses. Moreover, adult learners in need of developmental education have even greater barriers to academic success, not least among them the extra cost of developmental courses. One promising way to overcome some of these barriers is to offer such students a performance-based scholarship--a need-based grant, contingent on meeting academic benchmarks. The scholarships are designed to help put more money in the hands of low-income students and to provide an incentive for making academic progress. A prior MDRC study of performance-based scholarships as part of Opening Doors Louisiana found that such scholarships could have large impacts on persistence, grades, and credit accumulation. This report presents findings from a random assignment study of performance-based scholarships at two colleges in New York City: the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and Hostos Community College, both part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. The program in New York City is part of MDRC's national Performance-Based Scholarship (PBS) Demonstration, launched in 2008 to evaluate whether such scholarships are an effective way to improve academic outcomes among low-income college students. While some of the other programs in the PBS Demonstration (as well as the original Opening Doors study in Louisiana) made the scholarship contingent on students' receiving services such as advising or tutoring, the study in New York was intended to test a bare-bones, scholarship-only program. Appended are: (1) Select Characteristics of Sample Members at Baseline, by Research Group; and (2) Additional Impact Tables. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 12 tables, 5 figures and 4 boxes.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Bridging the Gap: An Impact Study of Eight Developmental Summer Bridge Programs in Texas (2012)
Developmental summer bridge programs are a popular strategy for increasing college readiness among recent high school graduates. Aimed at providing an alternative to traditional developmental education, these programs provide accelerated and focused learning opportunities in order to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for college success. The current study uses an experimental design to evaluate the outcomes of eight developmental summer bridge programs offered in Texas during the summer of 2009. At each college, students who consented to participate in the study were randomly assigned to either a program group that was eligible to participate in a developmental summer bridge program or a control group that was eligible to use any other services that the college provided. Based on a program model developed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the developmental summer bridge programs in this study included four common features: accelerated instruction in developmental math, reading, and/or writing; academic support; a "college knowledge" component; and the opportunity to earn a $400 stipend. After two years of follow-up, these are the main findings of this study: (1) The programs had no effect on the average number of credits attempted or earned. Program group and control group students attempted the same number of credits (30.3). Students in the program group earned an average of 19.4 credits, and students in the control group earned an average of 19.9 credits; the difference in their outcomes is not statistically significant; (2) The programs had an impact on first college-level course completion in math and writing that was evident in the year and a half following the program but no impact on first college-level course completion in reading during this same period. On average, students in the program group passed their first college-level math and writing courses at higher rates than students in the control group during this period. By the end of the two-year follow-up period, however, the differences between the two groups are no longer statistically significant; and (3) There is no evidence that the programs impacted persistence. During the two-year follow-up period, students in the program group enrolled in an average of 3.3 semesters, and students in the control group enrolled in an average of 3.4 semesters, a difference that is not statistically significant. Appended are: (1) Supplementary Tables; and (2) Individual Program Descriptions. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 15 tables, 3 figures and 1 box.) [This paper was written with Evan Weissman, Jedediah Teres, and Matthew Zeidenberg. For "Bridging the Gap: An Impact Study of Eight Developmental Summer Bridge Programs in Texas. Executive Summary," see ED533823.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Bridging the gap: An impact study of eight developmental summer bridge programs in Texas. (2012)
Across the country, a growing number of recent high school graduates are participating in summer bridge programs. These programs provide accelerated and focused learning opportunities in order to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for college success. The state of Texas has given particular attention to summer programs as a way to increase students' college readiness. During the past several years, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has provided support to colleges establishing developmental summer bridge programs offering intensive remedial instruction in math, reading, and/or writing, along with an introduction to college. In contrast with traditional developmental education course sequences, which may span several semesters, the summer bridge programs were designed to help underprepared students build competencies over the course of several weeks before entering college. While THECB funding for summer bridge programs has diminished, this type of program model remains popular in Texas and across the country. Nevertheless, little rigorous empirical research has been conducted on the effectiveness of summer bridge programs. To address this gap in the research, in 2009 the National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR) launched an evaluation of summer bridge programs at eight sites in Texas to assess whether they reduce the need for developmental coursework upon fall matriculation and improve student outcomes in college. The evaluation employed an experimental design to measure the effects of the programs on college enrollment and success. This Brief presents the impact findings of the study, revealing whether the opportunity to participate in a summer bridge program influenced academic outcomes during the two years following participation. The primary outcomes tracked in this study were persistence, accumulation of credits, and progression through the developmental sequence and into students' first college-level math, reading, and writing courses. [This report was written with Evan Weissman, Jedediah Teres, and Matthew Zeidenberg. This Brief is based on a National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR) report titled "Bridging the Gap: An Impact Study of Eight Developmental Summer Bridge Programs in Texas." To access this report, see ED533824.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Stemming the tide of summer melt: An experimental study of the effects of post–high school summer intervention on low-income students’ college enrollment. (2012)
The summer after high school graduation is a largely unexamined stage of college access among underrepresented populations in higher education. Yet two recent studies revealed that anywhere from 10% to 40% of low-income students who have been accepted to college and signaled their intent to enroll reconsider where, and even whether, to matriculate in the months after graduation. This experimental study investigates the effect of providing college counseling to low-income students during the summer. We randomly assigned students at 7 innovative high schools to receive proactive outreach from high school counselors. The treatment focused on addressing financial and information barriers students faced. Results show that providing college counseling to low-income students during the summer months leads to substantial improvements in both the rate and quality of college enrollment. Students in the treatment group were 14 percentage points more likely to enroll immediately in college and 19 percentage points more likely to keep the postsecondary plans they developed during senior year. Policy recommendations include strategies for high schools and/or colleges to provide effective support during the post-high school summer. (Contains 2 tables and 17 footnotes.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Relative Effectiveness of Reading Intervention Programs for Adults with Low Literacy (2011)
To compare the efficacy of instructional programs for adult learners with basic reading skills below the 7th-grade level, 300 adults were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 supplementary tutoring programs designed to strengthen decoding and fluency skills, and gains were examined for the 148 adult students who completed the program. The 3 intervention programs were based on or adapted from instructional programs that have been shown to benefit children with reading levels similar to those of the adult sample. Each program varied in its relative emphasis on basic decoding versus reading fluency instruction. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance confirmed small to moderate reading gains from pre- to posttesting across a battery of targeted reading measures but no significant relative differences across interventions. An additional 152 participants who failed to complete the intervention differed initially from those who persisted. Implications for future research and adult literacy instruction are discussed. (Contains 2 tables.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Relative Effectiveness of Reading Intervention Programs for Adults with Low Literacy (2011)
To compare the efficacy of instructional programs for adult learners with basic reading skills below the 7th-grade level, 300 adults were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 supplementary tutoring programs designed to strengthen decoding and fluency skills, and gains were examined for the 148 adult students who completed the program. The 3 intervention programs were based on or adapted from instructional programs that have been shown to benefit children with reading levels similar to those of the adult sample. Each program varied in its relative emphasis on basic decoding versus reading fluency instruction. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance confirmed small to moderate reading gains from pre- to posttesting across a battery of targeted reading measures but no significant relative differences across interventions. An additional 152 participants who failed to complete the intervention differed initially from those who persisted. Implications for future research and adult literacy instruction are discussed. (Contains 2 tables.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Relative Effectiveness of Reading Intervention Programs for Adults with Low Literacy (2011)
To compare the efficacy of instructional programs for adult learners with basic reading skills below the 7th-grade level, 300 adults were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 supplementary tutoring programs designed to strengthen decoding and fluency skills, and gains were examined for the 148 adult students who completed the program. The 3 intervention programs were based on or adapted from instructional programs that have been shown to benefit children with reading levels similar to those of the adult sample. Each program varied in its relative emphasis on basic decoding versus reading fluency instruction. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance confirmed small to moderate reading gains from pre- to posttesting across a battery of targeted reading measures but no significant relative differences across interventions. An additional 152 participants who failed to complete the intervention differed initially from those who persisted. Implications for future research and adult literacy instruction are discussed. (Contains 2 tables.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Retrieval practice produces more learning than elaborative studying with concept mapping. (2011)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Breaking new ground: An impact study of career-focused learning communities at Kingsborough Community College. (2011)
Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York, is a leader in the learning community movement. The college, which has run learning communities for many years and has a long history of implementing innovative programs for its students, is one of six colleges participating in the National Center for Postsecondary Research's Learning Communities Demonstration, in which random assignment evaluations are being used to determine the impacts of learning communities on students' academic achievement. This report presents findings from an evaluation of Kingsborough's unique Career-Focused Learning Communities program, the latest iteration in a series of learning community models designed and implemented by the college. It consisted of two courses required for a specific major and a third course called the "integrative seminar" that was designed to reinforce the learning in the two other courses and to expose students to information about careers in their selected major. The key findings presented in this report are: (1) Kingsborough's learning communities program model was sophisticated and ambitious relative to the typical model in its offer of three rather than two linked courses and its focus on integrated curricula; (2) Start-up problems during implementation kept the program from achieving a "steady state" during the demonstration; (3) For the sample as a whole, the program did not have meaningful impacts on the educational outcomes that were measured during the semesters in which students enrolled in a learning community or on outcomes measured in the following semester; and (4) For students who had recently transferred from another college, the program had a modest but positive impact on credits earned during the semester in which the program ran. Findings from the Learning Communities Demonstration reports that have been released to date generally show that learning community impacts, when they occur, tend to be modest and concentrated in the semester in which the learning communities are run. However, a fuller understanding will be gained as findings are released from the remaining two colleges in the demonstration. In addition, a final report, including further follow-up findings, will be released in 2012. Supplementary Tables are appended. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 14 tables, 1 figure, and 1 box.) [This paper was written with Phoebe Richman. For "Breaking New Ground: An Impact Study of Career-Focused Learning Communities at Kingsborough Community College. Executive Summary," see ED522634.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Effects of a Structured Decoding Curriculum on Adult Literacy Learners' Reading Development (2011)
This article reports the results from a randomized control field trial that investigated the impact of an enhanced decoding and spelling curriculum on the development of adult basic education (ABE) learners' reading skills. Sixteen ABE programs that offered class-based instruction to Low-Intermediate-level learners were randomly assigned to either the treatment group or the control group. Reading instructors in the 8 treatment programs taught decoding and spelling using the study-developed curriculum, Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling, and instructors in the 8 control programs used their existing reading instruction. A comparison group of 7 ABE programs whose instructors used K-3 structured curricula adapted for use with ABE learners were included for supplemental analyses. Seventy-one reading classes, 34 instructors, and 349 adult learners with pre- and posttests participated in the study. The study found significantly greater gains for the treatment group relative to the control group on one measure of decoding skills, which was the proximal target of the curriculum. No treatment-control differences were found for gains on word recognition, spelling, fluency, or comprehension. Pretest-to-posttest gains for word recognition and spelling were small to moderate but not significantly better than the control classes. Adult learners who were born and educated outside of the United States made larger gains on 7 of the 11 reading measures than learners who were born and educated within the United States. However, participation in the treatment curriculum was more beneficial for learners who were born and educated in the United States in developing their word recognition skills. (Contains 5 tables.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Effects of a Structured Decoding Curriculum on Adult Literacy Learners' Reading Development (2011)
This article reports the results from a randomized control field trial that investigated the impact of an enhanced decoding and spelling curriculum on the development of adult basic education (ABE) learners' reading skills. Sixteen ABE programs that offered class-based instruction to Low-Intermediate-level learners were randomly assigned to either the treatment group or the control group. Reading instructors in the 8 treatment programs taught decoding and spelling using the study-developed curriculum, Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling, and instructors in the 8 control programs used their existing reading instruction. A comparison group of 7 ABE programs whose instructors used K-3 structured curricula adapted for use with ABE learners were included for supplemental analyses. Seventy-one reading classes, 34 instructors, and 349 adult learners with pre- and posttests participated in the study. The study found significantly greater gains for the treatment group relative to the control group on one measure of decoding skills, which was the proximal target of the curriculum. No treatment-control differences were found for gains on word recognition, spelling, fluency, or comprehension. Pretest-to-posttest gains for word recognition and spelling were small to moderate but not significantly better than the control classes. Adult learners who were born and educated outside of the United States made larger gains on 7 of the 11 reading measures than learners who were born and educated within the United States. However, participation in the treatment curriculum was more beneficial for learners who were born and educated in the United States in developing their word recognition skills. (Contains 5 tables.)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Learning communities for students in developmental math: Impact studies at Queensborough and Houston Community Colleges. (2011)
Queensborough Community College and Houston Community College are two large, urban institutions that offer learning communities for their developmental math students, with the goals of accelerating students' progress through the math sequence and of helping them to perform better in college and ultimately earn degrees or certificates. They are two of six colleges participating in the National Center for Postsecondary Research's Learning Communities Demonstration, in which random assignment evaluations are being used to determine the effects of learning communities. At Queensborough, classes in all levels of developmental math were linked primarily with college-level classes, and at Houston, the lowest level of developmental math was linked with the college's student success class, designed to prepare students for the demands of college. A total of 1,034 students at Queensborough and 1,273 students at Houston entered the study between 2007 and 2009. The key findings presented in this report are: (1) Both Queensborough and Houston began by implementing a basic model of a one-semester developmental math learning community; (2) Learning community students attempted and passed their developmental math class at higher rates at both colleges; (3) In the semesters following students' participation in the program, impacts on developmental math progress were far less evident; and (4) On average, neither college's learning communities program had an impact on persistence in college or cumulative credits earned. With these results, a pattern is beginning to emerge in the experimental research on learning communities: Linked classes can have an impact on students' achievement during the program semester, but this effect diminishes over time. However, a fuller understanding will be gained as findings are released from the remaining three colleges in the demonstration. A final project synthesis report, including further follow-up, will be published 2012. Supplementary tables are appended. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 31 tables, 6 figures and 1 box.) [This paper was written with Rashida Welbeck. For the executive summary, see ED516652.]
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Learning communities for students in developmental reading: An impact study at Hillsborough Community College. (2010)
Over the last four decades, community colleges have played an increasingly important role in higher education. Today, community colleges enroll more than one in every three undergraduates nationally. Unfortunately, among students who enroll in community colleges with the intent to earn a credential or transfer to a four-year institution, only 51 percent achieve that goal within six years. Many postsecondary institutions operate "learning communities" to improve low rates of success. Basic learning communities simply co-enroll a cohort of students into two classes together. This report presents results from a rigorous random assignment study of a basic learning community program at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa Bay, Florida. Hillsborough is one of six community colleges participating in the National Center for Postsecondary Research's Learning Communities Demonstration. The demonstration's focus is on determining whether learning communities are an effective strategy for helping students who need developmental education. Appended are: (1) Impact Analyses; (2) Sensitivity Analyses; and (3) Assessment of Syllabi. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 14 tables, 2 boxes and 3 figures.) [This paper was written with the assistance of Jed Teres and Emily Schneider.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Enhancing interest and performance with a utility value intervention. (2010)
We tested whether a utility value intervention (via manipulated relevance) influenced interest and performance on a task and whether this intervention had different effects depending on an individual's performance expectations or prior performance. Interest was defined as triggered situational interest (i.e., affective and emotional task reactions) and maintained situational interest (i.e., inclination to engage in the task in the future). In 2 randomized experiments, 1 conducted in the laboratory and the other in a college classroom, utility value was manipulated through a writing task in which participants were asked to explain how the material they were learning (math or psychology) was relevant to their lives (or not). The intervention increased perceptions of utility value and interest, especially for students who were low in expected (laboratory) or actual (classroom) performance. Mediation analyses revealed that perceptions of utility value explained the effects of the intervention on interest and predicted performance. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (Contains 5 tables, 3 figures and 1 footnote.)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS -1
Longer-term impacts of mentoring, educational services, and incentives to learn: Evidence from a randomized trial in the United States (2010)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
An evaluation of accelerated learning in the CMU Open Learning Initiative course “Logic & Proofs” (2009)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
Rewarding persistence: Effects of a performance-based scholarship program for low-income parents. (2009)
MDRC launched the Opening Doors demonstration to test four distinct interventions that were designed to help more students persist in community college and accomplish their academic and personal goals. This report describes the impacts of a performance-based scholarship program with a counseling component on academic success and persistence among low-income parents. Students who participated in the program, which was operated at two New Orleans-area colleges as part of MDRC's multisite Opening Doors demonstration, were more likely to stay in school, get higher grades, and earn more credits. Key findings from this report include the following: (1) The Opening Doors program encouraged more students to register for college; (2) The program increased persistence; (3) The program increased the number of credits that students earned; and (4) The program had positive impacts on a range of social and psychological outcomes. (Contains 30 tables, 11 figures, and 2 boxes.) [Additional funding was provided by The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health, The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood, The Kresge Foundation, The Sandler Foundation, and The Starr Foundation.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
The impact of developmental and intrusive academic advising on grade point average, retention, and satisfaction with advising and the nursing program among first semester nontraditional associate degree nursing students (Order No. 3369636). (2009)
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
The advantage of abstract examples in learning math. (2008)
Reviews of Individual Studies 6-PS -1
Comparative effectiveness of Carnegie Learning’s Cognitive Tutor Algebra I curriculum: A report of a randomized experiment in the Maui School District. (2007)
Under the "Math Science Partnership Grant," the Maui Hawaii Educational Consortium sought scientifically based evidence for the effectiveness of Carnegie Learning's "Cognitive Tutor[R]" (CT) program as part of the adoption process for pre-Algebra program. During the 2006-2007 school year, the researchers conducted a follow-on study to a previous randomized experiment in the Maui School District of the effectiveness of "CT" in Algebra I. In this second year, the focus was on the newly developed "Bridge to Algebra" program for pre-Algebra. The question being addressed specifically by the research is whether students in classes that use "CT" materials achieve higher scores on the standardized math assessment, as measured by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) General Math Test, than they would if they had been in a control classroom using the pre-Algebra curricula the Maui schools currently have in place. The researchers found that most students in both "CT" and control groups improved overall on the NWEA General Math Test. They did not find a difference in student performance in math between groups. Their analysis of the Algebraic Operations sub-strand revealed that many students in both groups did not demonstrate the growth in this scale, again with no discernible group differences. However, for Algebraic Operations outcomes, the researchers found a significant interaction between the pre-test and "CT": student scoring low before participating in "CT" got more benefit from the program's algebraic operations instruction than students with high initial scores. (Contains 8 figures, 33 tables, and 14 footnotes.) [For "Comparative Effectiveness of Carnegie Learning's "Cognitive Tutor Bridge to Algebra" Curriculum: A Report of a Randomized Experiment in the Maui School District. Research Summary," see ED538962.]
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
College as a job advancement strategy: Final report on the New Visions Self-Sufficiency and Lifelong Learning Project. (2006)
"Welfare reforms of the 1990s moved thousands of single parents off the welfare rolls and into jobs. Their economic status nonetheless has remained fragile, as most of these jobs provided low wages, few benefits, and little opportunity for advancement. A major obstacle to better jobs has been that most of this population lacks the education and skills needed for economic advancement. In response, researchers and practitioners have renewed the search for effective education and training (E&T) strategies for welfare recipients and other low-income adults. Building on studies of past E&T programs, reformers are focusing particularly on emerging innovations that address weaknesses in traditional instruction and help students balance school with work and family responsibilities. Community colleges have become active laboratories for designing and testing these new approaches. One series of innovations has entailed building “bridge programs” to prepare disadvantaged adults to succeed in college. Another approach has been to restructure regular college classes to make it easier for students to balance school, work, and family responsibilities."
Reviews of Individual Studies PS -1
The effects of an ethnic-based mentoring model on college adjustment, grade point average, and retention among first-year African American college students attending a predominately White institution. (2005)
Reviews of Individual Studies 9-PS -1
The impacts of regular Upward Bound: Results from the third follow-up data collection (MPR Reference No. 8464-600) (2004)
Policymakers have long been concerned about the disparities in college attendance between more and less advantaged groups of students. Upward Bound is one of the largest and longest running federal programs designed to help economically disadvantaged students prepare for, enter and succeed in college. Since December 1991, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., (MPR) has been conducting the national evaluation of Upward Bound for the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The evaluation has focused on program implementation issues and the effects of the program on student outcomes. The "impact study" is designed to measure the impacts or effects of regular Upward Bound on student outcomes, and it is based on a longitudinal evaluation in which eligible applicants from a nationally representative sample of projects were randomly assigned to Upward Bound or to a control group. The results in this document are based on the national evaluation's third follow-up data collection, which was completed in 2000. Because the entire sample of students was beyond high school age by that time, the report includes updated findings on the effects of Upward Bound on high school outcomes. In addition, based on data covering the first few years after sample members left high school, the report addresses the following research questions: (1) What effect does Upward Bound have on students' postsecondary experiences? (2) Who benefits most from Upward Bound? and (3) What is the association between staying in Upward Bound and student outcomes? Findings in this report suggest that for the average student, Upward Bound: (1) increased the number of high school math credits earned by participants; (2) did not affect other measures of high school academic preparation; (3) may have increased enrollment at four-year institutions; and (4) did not affect enrollment at postsecondary institutions more generally when all types of postsecondary institutions are considered. Appended are: (1) Sample Design Unit Nonresponse and Weights; (2) Baseline Characteristics of the Treatment and Control Groups, Third Follow-Up Survey Respondents; (3) Program Effects and Standard Errors; (4) The Effect of Upward Bound on High School Outcomes by Selected Subgroups; (5) The Effect of Upward Bound on College Engagement by Selected Subgroups; (6) Methods Used to Estimate the Effects of Additional Upward Bound Participation; (7) Weighted Standard Deviations for All Outcome Variables; (8) Data Collection; and (9) Sample Sizes and Standard Errors for Reported Impact Estimates. (Contains 29 tables and 3 figures.)

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