WWC review of this study

Essays on the Economics of College Access and Completion

Lapid, P. A. (2017). (Doctoral dissertation, UC Berkeley).

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    10,629
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: July 2021

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Statistically significant negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Overall GPA

Fall Program for Freshmen vs. Business as usual

6 Years

Full sample;
9,901 students

3.39

3.41

Yes

-3
 
 
Postsecondary degree attainment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Graduated in 6 years (post-matriculation, bachelor's)

Fall Program for Freshmen vs. Business as usual

11 Semesters

Full sample;
10,629 students

94.30

91.00

Yes

 
 
12
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Graduated in 4 years (post-matriculation, bachelor's)

Fall Program for Freshmen vs. Business as usual

7 Semesters

Full sample;
10,629 students

75.60

71.00

Yes

 
 
6


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: 60%
    Male: 40%

  • Urban
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    California
  • Race
    Asian
    44%
    Black
    4%
    Other or unknown
    22%
    White
    30%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    12%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    89%

Setting

The study is set at the University of California (UC) Berkeley, including its UC Berkeley Extension, which is where the Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF) is housed. Instruction for the program takes place at the UC Berkeley Extension, four blocks south of the main campus. The program has been offered since 1983.

Study sample

The weighted sample characteristics are as follows: 43.7% Asian, 30.4% White, 3.6% Black, and 22.3% Other. The sample was 11.5% Latino/Hispanic and 60% female. The majority (88.7%) were California residents. Over a quarter (27.3%) of the sample's parents did not hold a 4-year college degree.

Intervention Group

In Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF), students are offered a menu of introductory courses for first year students. These courses are taught at the UC Berkeley Extension and typically have smaller class sizes than other introductory courses. They also receive FPF advising (housed in the same extension facility where they receive instruction) as well as the standard advising that all students receive. If their GPA falls below 2.0 in the 8th week of the semester, they have a required meeting with their FPF advisor. There is regular, ongoing discussion between FPF advisors and the instructors. The cost of FPF is dramatically lower than for regular tuition ($75 versus $2,400), and students are eligible for university housing and can participate in social and cultural activities.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition were regularly admitted students who matriculated in the fall semester. They had access to business as usual services at the school including advising, orientation and other student services.

 

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