WWC review of this study

Supporting community college students from start to degree completion: Long-term evidence from a randomized trial of CUNY’s ASAP

Weiss, M. J., Ratledge, A., Sommo, C., & Gupta, H. (2019). American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 11(3), 253–297. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?q=ED604399&id=ED604399 Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED604399

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    896
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: October 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

Enrolled in any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
896 students

96.40

94.20

No

--
More Outcomes

Enrolled in 4-year college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

6 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

24.50

17.50

Yes

 
 
10
 
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

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

12 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

50.80

40.40

Yes

 
 
10
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

2.90

1.10

No

--

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

6 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

39.70

22.00

Yes

 
 
20

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

5 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

28.70

15.30

Yes

 
 
19

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

12 Semesters

Black;
296 students

56.30

35.70

Yes

 
 
19

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

7 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

42.00

26.30

Yes

 
 
17

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

8 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

45.20

29.90

Yes

 
 
16

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

9 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

46.60

32.40

Yes

 
 
14

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

14.40

8.80

Yes

 
 
13

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

10 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

48.20

36.40

Yes

 
 
12

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

11 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

49.70

38.20

Yes

 
 
11

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

12 Semesters

Female;
556 students

54.70

43.30

Yes

 
 
11

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

12 Semesters

first-generation college students;
259 students

51.20

39.40

No

--

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

12 Semesters

Male;
340 students

45.10

36.20

No

--

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

12 Semesters

Hispanic or Latino;
375 students

43.80

42.10

No

--

Bachelor’s Degree

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

12 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

16.70

16.20

No

--

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
896 students

0.00

0.00

--

--

Earned a degree from any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

0.20

0.00

--

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

Enrolled in any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

6 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

51.20

47.40

No

--
More Outcomes

Number of terms enrolled

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

12 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

6.50

6.30

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Enrolled in any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

91.50

81.60

Yes

 
 
20

Enrolled in any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

3 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

77.10

70.30

Yes

 
 
8

Enrolled in any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

4 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

70.40

62.90

Yes

 
 
8

Enrolled in any college

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) vs. Business as usual

5 Semesters

Full sample;
896 students

61.20

55.10

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 62%
    Male: 38%

  • 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

    New York
  • Race
    Asian
    8%
    Black
    34%
    Other or unknown
    5%
    White
    10%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    44%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    56%

Setting

The study was conducted at three CUNY community colleges: Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Kingsborough Community College (KCC), and LaGuardia Community College (LGCC). Students were originally randomly assigned to the study in 2010 and were followed for six years.

Study sample

Among the 896 students in the evaluation sample, 38 percent were male and 62 percent were female. At baseline, 57 percent of students were age 19 or younger but the average age of students was 21.5 years, and 44 percent of students were Hispanic, 10 percent were White, 34 percent were Black, 8 percent were Asian or Pacific Islander, and 5 percent fell into the "Other" category. Moreover, 60 percent of students were incoming freshmen, 88 percent received a Pell Grant, and at least 87 percent of students had a developmental need in one or two classes (developmental need was unknown for 11 percent of students).

Intervention Group

The ASAP intervention is a three-year program that provides wraparound supports to students; it does not aim to alter classroom instruction. ASAP has four primary components: 1. Requirements and Messages: Students are required to attend college full time and are strongly encouraged to take developmental courses early and graduate within three years. 2. Student Services: In their first year, students received advisement from an ASAP adviser at least twice per month (average: 38 meetings per student during that time), support from an ASAP career and employment services staff member at least once per semester (average: nine meetings during that time), and one hour per week of tutoring from ASAP staff for each developmental course taken (tutoring was also required when students' GPA fell below 2.0) (average: 24 sessions during that time). 3. Course Enrollment: Students enroll in blocked or linked courses in their first year (i.e., multiple courses offered back-to-back or that have connected content and keep ASAP students together in the same courses). Students can also register for courses early, and enroll in an ASAP seminar during the first three semesters which covers topics such as student skills and goal setting. 4. Financial Supports: Students receive a tuition waiver that covers the gap between financial aid and college tuition and fees (an average of $719 per semester among the small percentage of students who received the waiver). Students also receive free public transportation for subway and bus travel (Metro Cards, which cost an average of $112 per month by the end of the third year of the study) and free use of textbooks (worth approximately $270 per semester). In addition, ASAP provided voluntary services to students, including access to a social work intern, a $500 per semester ASAP Transfer Scholarship to complete degrees at CUNY four-year colleges, and participation in a ASAP Student Leadership Program to develop leadership and public speaking skills. None of these offerings were widely used by students.

Comparison Group

Unlike ASAP, students in the comparison condition were not required to enroll full time. Students in the comparison group had access to the usual college services. On average in their first year, students in the comparison group had six meetings with an adviser, two meetings with career services, and seven tutoring sessions. Blocked or linked courses were available at two of the three colleges during the first semester, but enrollment in these courses is unknown. Some students also took a student success course or a freshman seminar during their first year. Students in the comparison group had no access to additional financial supports (i.e., tuition waivers, free MetroCards, or free use of textbooks).

Support for implementation

ASAP was initially funded in 2007 with a three-year, $20 million grant from the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO). ASAP is jointly administered by the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs and the participating community colleges.

 

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