WWC review of this study

Increasing Community College Graduation Rates with a Proven Model: Three-Year Results from the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Ohio Demonstration

Miller, C., Headlam, C., Manno, M., & Cullinan, D. (2020). MDRC. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED603027

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    1,501
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: January 2023



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.

Reviewed: March 2022

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

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 6

ASAP vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,501 students

34.80

19.20

Yes

 
 
19
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 3

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-3 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

7.70

2.50

Yes

 
 
26

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 4

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-2 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

19.00

7.90

Yes

 
 
23

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 5

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-1 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

27.80

12.90

Yes

 
 
22

Associate's degree

ASAP vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,501 students

33.20

17.20

Yes

 
 
20

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 2

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-4 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

1.60

0.70

No

--

Bachelor’s Degree

ASAP vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,501 students

0.20

0.20

No

--

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 1

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-5 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

0.30

0.00

No

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

College Level Credits Earned: Cumulative (After 3 Years)

ASAP vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,501 students

32.10

23.80

Yes

 
 
13
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

College credits earned: Semester 3

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-3 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

6.50

4.10

Yes

 
 
15

College credits earned: Semester 2

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-4 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

7.80

5.60

Yes

 
 
13

College credits earned: Semester 1

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-5 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

8.30

6.40

Yes

 
 
12

College credits earned: Semester 4

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-2 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

5.10

3.60

Yes

 
 
10

College credits earned: Semester 5

ASAP vs. Business as usual

-1 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

2.90

2.50

No

--

College credits earned: Semester 6

ASAP vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,501 students

2.10

2.10

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: 64%
    Male: 36%

  • 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
    Black
    35%
    Other or unknown
    19%
    White
    46%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    10%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    90%

Setting

The City University of New York (CUNY), with the support of the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, started the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) to provide students with up to three years of financial and academic support, as well as other support services, to address barriers to college graduation. A central program goal is to help student graduate with an Associate’s Degree within three years. A previous evaluation CUNY ASAP found that the program led to a large and statistically significant increase in graduation rates, and the current evaluation investigates whether the program works well in another context: Ohio. To answer this question, a partnership of MDRC, CUNY, and the Ohio Department of Education was formed to evaluate the ASAP model at three community colleges in the state. The evaluation was conducted at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (C-State) which serves approximately 8,000 students; Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) which serves approximately 23,000 students, and Lorain County Community College (Lorain-CC) which serves about 11,000 students. Tri-C and C-State are located in Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively, while Loraine-CC is in a smaller city, Elyria, located in an outlier county of the Cleveland metropolitan area. Although the colleges vary in size, they are typical of the characteristics of the students in most other community colleges in the state. For example, most students are age 25 or older, attend part-time, and approximately one-third of students across these schools receive Pell grants.

Study sample

Students in the sample had to be eligible for Pell Grants. The average age of study participants was 23.2 years. A majority had earned a high school diploma (87.2%), planned to enroll in college as full-time students (90.7%), had developmental education requirements entering the program (74.3%), and were women (64.0%). A majority of study participants were currently employed (59.9%) and living with parents (57.8%). Less than half were white (45.8%), over one-third were black (34.8%), and about one-third were the first person in their family to attend college (33.9%). Less than 10% of the students in the sample lived in a home where a language other than English was spoken regularly in the home (8.6%).

Intervention Group

The Ohio Programs model was designed to closely follow the CUNY ASAP to address multiple potential barriers to students completing community college within three years. The model consists of five components: (1) student support through advising, tutoring, and career services; (2) financial support through tuition waivers, monthly incentives, and textbook vouchers; (3) course enrollment support through blocked courses, and consolidated schedules, and a first-year seminar; (4) requirements and messages in students are required to be enrolled in college full-time, take developmental courses early, and graduate within three years, and (5) management and staffing in which program management and dedicated staff support student holistically throughout the three years.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group received typical services offered at one of the three community colleges participating in the evaluation. The intensity and individualized attention of these services were less than that which the intervention group received.

Support for implementation

C-State, Tri-C, and Lorain-CC received support from CUNY and MDRC in an effort to adopt and develop their programs. CUNY led a workshop for participating colleges to help them develop their action plans for implementation during the planning phase. In addition, CUNY provided ongoing technical assistance throughout the implementation phase. MDRC provided operational support during the pilot phase of the program and developed a management system to collect and manage participant data.

Reviewed: July 2020

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

Certificate: Highest Degree Earned

ASAP vs. Business as usual

6 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

1.40

1.70

No

--
Postsecondary degree attainment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 6

ASAP vs. Business as usual

6 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

34.80

19.20

Yes

 
 
19
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 3

ASAP vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

7.70

2.50

Yes

 
 
26

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 4

ASAP vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

19.00

7.90

Yes

 
 
23

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 5

ASAP vs. Business as usual

5 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

27.80

12.90

Yes

 
 
22

Associate's degree

ASAP vs. Business as usual

6 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

33.20

17.20

Yes

 
 
20

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 2

ASAP vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

1.60

0.70

No

--

Bachelor’s Degree

ASAP vs. Business as usual

6 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

0.20

0.20

--

--

Earned a degree from any college: Semester 1

ASAP vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
1,501 students

0.30

0.00

--

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

College Level Credits Earned: Cumulative (After 3 Years)

ASAP vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Full sample;
1,501 students

32.10

23.80

Yes

 
 
13
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

College credits earned: Semester 3

ASAP vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

6.50

4.10

Yes

 
 
15

College credits earned: Semester 2

ASAP vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

7.80

5.60

Yes

 
 
13

College credits earned: Semester 1

ASAP vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
1,501 students

8.30

6.40

Yes

 
 
12

College credits earned: Semester 4

ASAP vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

5.10

3.60

Yes

 
 
10

College credits earned: Semester 5

ASAP vs. Business as usual

5 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

2.90

2.50

Yes

 
 
4

College credits earned: Semester 6

ASAP vs. Business as usual

6 Semesters

Full sample;
1,501 students

2.10

2.10

--

--


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.


  • 9% English language learners

  • Female: 64%
    Male: 36%

  • 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
    Black
    35%
    Other or unknown
    10%
    White
    46%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    10%

Setting

The City University of New York (CUNY), with the support of the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, started the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) to provide students with up to three years of financial and academic support, as well as other support services, to address barriers to college graduation. A central ASAP goal is to help student graduate with an Associate’s Degree within three years. A previous evaluation of CUNY ASAP found that the program led to a large and statistically significant increase in graduation rates. The current evaluation investigates whether the program works well in another context: Ohio. To answer this question, a partnership of MDRC, CUNY, and the Ohio Department of Education was formed to evaluate the ASAP model at three community colleges in the state. The evaluation was conducted at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (C-State) which serves approximately 8,000 students; Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) which serves approximately 23,000 students, and Lorain County Community College (Lorain-CC) which serves about 11,000 students. Tri-C and C-State are located in Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively, while Loraine-CC is in a smaller city, Elyria, located in an outlier county of the Cleveland metropolitan area. Although the colleges vary in size, they are typical of the characteristics of the students in most other community colleges in the state. For example, most students are age 25 or older, attend part-time, and approximately one-third of students across these schools receive Pell grants.

Study sample

Students in the sample had to be eligible for Pell Grants. The average age of study participants was 23.2 years. A majority had earned a high school diploma (87.2 percent), planned to enroll in college as full-time students (90.7 percent), had developmental education requirements entering the program (74.3 percent), and were women (64.0 percent). A majority of study participants were currently employed (59.9 percent) and living with parents (57.8 percent). Less than half were white (45.8 percent), over one-third were black (34.8 percent), and about one-third were the first person in their family to attend college (33.9 percent). Less than 10 percent of the students in the sample lived in a home where a language other than English was spoken regularly in the home (8.6 percent).

Intervention Group

The Ohio ASAP model was designed to closely follow the CUNY ASAP, and therefore address multiple barriers to students completing community college within three years. The model consists of five components: (1) student support through advising, tutoring, and career services; (2) financial support through tuition waivers, monthly incentives, and textbook vouchers; (3) course enrollment support through blocked courses, and consolidated schedules, and a first-year seminar; (4) requirements for students to be enrolled in college full-time, take developmental courses early, and graduate within three years, and (5) management and staffing in which program management and dedicated staff support student holistically throughout the three years.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group received typical services offered at one of the three community colleges participating in the evaluation. The intensity and individualized attention of these services were less than that which the intervention group received.

Support for implementation

C-State, Tri-C, and Lorain-CC received support from CUNY and MDRC in an effort to adopt and develop their programs. CUNY led a workshop for participating colleges to help them develop their action plans for implementation during the planning phase. In addition, CUNY provided ongoing technical assistance throughout the implementation phase. MDRC provided operational support during the pilot phase of the program and developed a management system to collect and manage participant data.

 

Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

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

Connect With the WWC

loading
back to top