WWC review of this study

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

Martin, Vanessa, Broadus, Joseph (2013). MDRC . Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED544256

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    276
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: December 2020

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
College enrollment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Enrolling in community college

Adult Education vs. Business as usual

12 Months

Full sample;
276 students

24.10

7.20

Yes

 
 
30
 
Completing high school (short-run) outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Completed GED

Adult Education vs. Business as usual

12 Months

Full sample;
276 students

52.80

22.40

Yes

 
 
29
 
Progressing in college outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Enrolled in community college for second semester

Adult Education vs. Business as usual

12 Months

Full sample;
276 students

11.50

2.60

Yes

 
 
33
 


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: 67%
    Male: 33%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
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    • D
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    New York
  • Race
    Black
    35%
    Other or unknown
    66%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    50%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    50%

Setting

The study took place in a community college in the Mid-Atlantic.

Study sample

The initial sample consisted of 276 learners. These learners scored at a 7th grade reading level or higher, were age 18 or older, and had an income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Sixty-seven percent of learners were female; the average age of learners was about 27. Just over 50 percent were Hispanic or Latino, about 35 percent were non-Hispanic/Latino African American, and 15 percent were of other races or ethnicities. About 53 percent were receiving public assistance, and 38 percent were employed when randomly assigned. Twenty-five percent scored at the 7th or 8th grade reading levels, whereas 16 percent scored at the 9th grade level, and 34 percent scored at the 10th grade level or higher. About 15 percent attained a 9th grade education or lower, whereas 30 percent finished 10th grade, 36 percent finished 11th grade, and 9 percent finished 12th grade; 10 percent did not report the grade level they had attained.

Intervention Group

The GED Bridge to Health and Business program is a curriculum preparing learners for the high school equivalency exam, and it also promotes general academic habits that will help learners succeed in later college classes or training programs. The program uses a "contextualized curriculum" that aligns instruction to one of two professional focuses: health or business. The program is structured and delivered in a fashion similar to a regular college course, with the aim of familiarizing learners with this format so they are more prepared for college. Instruction was provided for 108 hours over 12 weeks. Learners also receive one-on-one guidance to help explore career and educational options. GED Bridge instructors were full-time, master’s-level educators trained in adult literacy instruction and contextualized curriculum development.

Comparison Group

The comparison group continued to use existing high school equivalency exam preparation practices in a program called GED Prep offered at the college. Instruction was provided for 60 hours over nine weeks, and materials included only the high school equivalency exam textbook. No counseling or support were provided. GED Prep instructors were part-time adjunct instructors with some background in adult education, but they were not trained in adult literacy.

Support for implementation

The study does not provide specific information about support for implementation.

 

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