WWC review of this study

More guidance, better results?: Three-year effects of an enhanced student services program at two community colleges.

Scrivener, S., & Weiss, M. J. (2009). New York: MDRC.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    2,139
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: July 2021

At least one statistically significant positive finding
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 passed all courses during the program semester

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

24.20

22.00

No

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

Cumulative - Registered at any institution

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

95.20

93.70

No

--
More Outcomes

Cumulative - Number of semesters registered

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

3.30

3.10

No

--

Cumulative - Registered for any course

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

93.90

93.00

No

--

Cumulative - Number of regular credits earned

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

14.30

13.90

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Cumulative - Number of semesters registered

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Female;
1,620 students

3.50

3.20

Yes

 
 
5

Registered in any course

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Male;
519 students

92.90

91.40

No

--

Registered for any course

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

28.90

25.90

No

--

Registered in any course

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Female;
1,620 students

94.30

93.50

No

--

Registered at any institution

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

34.70

31.80

No

--

Registered for any course

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

34.50

32.30

No

--

Registered for any course

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

24.40

23.20

No

--

Registered at any institution

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

30.50

29.00

No

--

Cumulative - Number of regular credits earned

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Female;
1,620 students

15.00

14.40

No

--

Cumulative - Number of semesters registered

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Male;
519 students

2.60

2.60

--

--

Cumulative - Number of regular credits earned

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Male;
519 students

12.00

12.50

No

--

Number of regular credits earned

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
2,139 students

2.00

2.00

--

--

Number of regular credits earned

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

2.00

2.00

--

--

Number of regular credits earned

Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
2,139 students

1.80

1.60

--

--


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.


  • 8% English language learners

  • Female: 76%
    Male: 24%

  • Suburban, Urban
    • 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

    Ohio
  • Race
    Asian
    1%
    Black
    30%
    Other or unknown
    15%
    White
    54%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    11%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    89%

Setting

This demonstration and evaluation of Opening Doors was set in two community colleges in Ohio: Lorain County Community College and Owens Community College. The program was delivered via advisors available at both colleges.

Study sample

Students were mostly female (75.7 percent) and ranged in age from 18-34. Sixty-five percent of the students in the sample took some developmental education within the first year of enrollment. White students comprised 54.1% of the sample and Black students comprised 29.9% of the sample. The sample was also made up of 10.9% Hispanic students. Participants were required to have a family income of below 250 percent of the federal poverty level to participate in the program.

Intervention Group

Students in the intervention condition were assigned to an Opening Doors Counselor. These counselors each had a small caseload of students, with whom they were expected to meet at least two times per semester. Opening Doors students had access to designated contact in financial aid office and they were eligible for $150 stipend for each of two semesters (a total of $300). Opening Doors advising was designed to be more personalized than what students typically received. Counseling sessions covered a range of topics, including course scheduling, registration, financial aid and other financial issues, tutoring, juggling school and work, career-related issues, and addressing any personal issues pertaining to academic pursuits.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition received no additional financial aid or services but had access to the colleges' regular array of services and facilities. The ratio of students to counselors for comparison group students was 1,000:1.

Support for implementation

The counselors for the program were all full-time counseling staff at their respective college, which provided institutional support. However, counselors worked part-time for the Opening Doors program while managing other responsibilities. Counselors were supported by administrative staff who assisted in making appointments and maintaining program records.

Reviewed: November 2016

Meets WWC standards without reservations


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

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Scrivener, S., & Au, J. (2007, April). Enhancing student services at Lorain County Community College: Early results from the Opening Doors demonstration in Ohio. New York: MDRC. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED496600.pdf

  • Scrivener, S., & Pih, M. (2007). Enhancing student services at Owens Community College: Early results from the Opening Doors Demonstration in Ohio. New York, NY: MDRC.

Reviewed: February 2016

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
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 GPA (2.0 and higher)

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Full sample;
1,858 students

0.48

0.48

Yes

 
 
0
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Cumulative GPA (2.0 and higher)

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Female;
1,620 students

0.51

0.51

No

--

Cumulative GPA (2.0 and higher)

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Male;
439 students

0.38

0.41

No

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

Registered for any courses

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

1st semester

Full sample;
2,139 students

0.90

0.89

Yes

 
 
3
 
More Outcomes

Registered at any institution

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

1st semester

Full sample;
2,139 students

0.91

0.90

Yes

 
 
3
 
Show Supplemental Findings

Registered for any courses

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

1st semester

Female;
1,620 students

0.90

0.89

Yes

 
 
4

Registered for any courses

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

1st semester

Male;
519 students

0.88

0.89

No

--
Attainment outcomes—Statistically significant negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Earned a degree/certificate

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Full sample;
2,139 students

0.02

0.03

Yes

-11
 
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Earned a degree/certificate

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Female;
1,620 students

0.02

0.03

Yes

-8
 
 

Earned a degree/certificate

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Male;
519 students

0.01

0.03

Yes

-27
 
 
Credit accumulation and persistence outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Registered at any institution

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Full sample;
2,139 students

0.95

0.94

Yes

 
 
7
 
More Outcomes

Registered for any courses

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Full sample;
2,139 students

0.94

0.93

Yes

 
 
4
 

Number of semesters registered

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Full sample;
2,139 students

3.30

3.10

Yes

 
 
4
 

Regular credits earned

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Full sample;
2,139 students

14.30

13.90

Yes

 
 
1
 
Show Supplemental Findings

Number of semesters registered

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Female;
1,620 students

3.50

3.20

Yes

 
 
6

Registered for any courses

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Male;
519 students

0.93

0.91

No

--

Registered for any courses

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Female;
1,620 students

0.94

0.94

No

--

Number of semesters registered

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Male;
519 students

2.60

2.60

No

--

Regular credits earned

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Female;
1,620 students

15.00

14.40

No

--

Regular credits earned

Opening Doors vs. Business as usual

Cumulative

Male;
519 students

12.00

12.50

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: 76%
    Male: 24%

  • Urban
    • 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

    Ohio
  • Race
    Black
    30%
    Other or unknown
    5%
    White
    54%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    11%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    89%
 

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