WWC review of this study

Keeping students on course: An impact study of a student success course at Guilford Technical Community College.

Rutschow, E. Z., Cullinan, D., & Welbeck, R. (2012). New York: MDRC. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED531183.pdf. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED531183

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    911
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: July 2021

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Cumulative - Earned a 2.0 GPA or greater

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
911 students

39.70

43.10

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

in program semester-Term GPA- % with GPA >2.0

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

Full sample;
911 students

32.10

34.20

No

--

first postprogram semester-Term GPA, % with GPA 2.0 or greater

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
911 students

29.70

33.60

No

--

Percentage of students who passed all courses during the program semester

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

Full sample;
911 students

31.70

35.70

No

--
Progressing in college outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Cumulative - Registered for any course

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
911 students

90.60

90.30

No

--
More Outcomes

Cumulative - Number of semesters registered

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
911 students

2.40

2.40

No

--

Cumulative - Number of regular credits earned

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
911 students

12.80

12.70

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

first postprogram semester-Registered for any course

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
911 students

63.60

61.60

No

--

in program semester-number of regular credits earned

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

Full sample;
911 students

3.00

2.90

No

--

first postprogram semester-Number of regular credits earned

Student Success Course vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
911 students

3.20

3.20

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 69%
    Male: 31%
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    North Carolina
  • Race
    Black
    59%
    Other or unknown
    13%
    White
    29%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    6%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    94%

Setting

This success course was offered at three campuses of the Guilford Technical Community College located in in Guilford County, NC. The three campuses were Greensboro, Jamestown, and High Point. The course was offered in three different semesters to accommodate the college's capacity (Spring 2008, Fall 2008, and Spring 2009). Over those 3 semesters, the college offered 33 sections of the success course.

Study sample

Among the full sample, 68.8% were female and the average age of students was 25.3 years old. About thirty percent (28.5%) of students were White, 58.5% were Black, and 12.9% were of another race. Moreover, 5.7% were Hispanic; 12.2% were married; 5.5% of students lived in households that received unemployment/dislocated worker benefits; 7.8% were in households that received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or disability benefits; 2.3% of students were in households that received TANF; and 23.3% of students were in households that received food stamps.

Intervention Group

During the three semesters of the study, Guilford offered a two-credit student success course to intervention group students who were required to take one or more developmental education courses, either in reading, English, or math. This course was generally taught by two instructors and the activities engaged students in reflection about their experiences to develop students’ socio-emotional skills. The course also provided some instruction and practice in study and academic skills.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group received the college’s standard services, excluding the student success course.

Support for implementation

During the three semesters of the study, course instructors received varying levels of professional development.

Reviewed: April 2016

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Percentage of students who earned a GPA of "C" or better in nondevelopmental courses

First Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

Program semester to third post-program semester

College students;
667 students

N/A

N/A

No

--
More Outcomes

Percentage of students who passed all courses during the program semester

First Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

Program semester

College students;
911 students

N/A

N/A

No

--
Credit accumulation and persistence outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Percentage of students registered for any course

First Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

Program semester to third post-program semester

College students;
911 students

N/A

N/A

No

--
More Outcomes

Number of credits earned (regular, college-level courses)

First Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

Program semester to third post-program semester

College students;
911 students

12.80

12.70

No

--
Progress in developmental education outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Passed developmental math course

First Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

Program semester to third post-program semester

College students;
911 students

N/A

N/A

No

--
More Outcomes

Passed developmental reading course

First Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

Program semester to third post-program semester

College students;
911 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Passed developmental English course

First Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

Program semester to third post-program semester

College students;
911 students

N/A

N/A

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 68%
    Male: 32%
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    North Carolina
  • Race
    Black
    59%
    Other or unknown
    7%
    White
    29%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    6%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    94%
 

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This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

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