Andrea Vasquez
Research Analyst, Postsecondary Education

Vasquez joined MDRC’s Postsecondary Education policy area in 2017. She works closely with community colleges and open- and broad-access institutions to implement and evaluate student success programs. She currently provides technical assistance to College Promise programs through MDRC’s College Promise Success Initiative, hosting training events, designing tools, and disseminating best practices to help programs implement evidence-based student support services. Her primary areas of focus are financial aid programs and applied behavioral science strategies in higher education. Before joining MDRC, Vasquez was a senior innovation strategist at Commonwealth, where she designed and tested innovative solutions to promote the financial stability of low- and middle-income Americans. She holds a BA in financial economics from Columbia University.

  • MDRC Publications

      Issue Focus

      Research-Based Advice for Community College Administrators

      December, 2020

      Two decades of MDRC research shows that a holistic counseling strategy that reduces adviser caseloads and offers students more frequent, comprehensive guidance can help them address both academic and personal issues and improve college outcomes. This paper provides lessons for higher education professionals interested in implementing this approach.


      Lessons from Two Decades of Research and Technical Assistance

      November, 2020

      Colleges support students with academic and other types of advising, counseling, or coaching. Some schools enhance those services by reducing adviser caseloads and providing more comprehensive, frequent guidance, which can improve students’ semester-to-semester retention and average credits earned. This brief describes important lessons on designing and implementing those services.

      Issue Focus
      October, 2020

      Process maps are “human-centered” tools social services organizations can use to improve their service​ delivery by breaking down complex problems and addressing them collaboratively. See how the Los Angeles Community College District improved its Los Angeles College Promise program by bringing students into the making of​ its process maps.


      Lessons from the Los Angeles College Promise Program

      September, 2019
      Andrea Vasquez, Madeline Price

      The Los Angeles College Promise aims to increase college access and success by offering support services and a scholarship that covers tuition and fees for two years. This brief highlights how it has established a cycle of continual program improvement that uses insights from behavioral science and involves the students themselves.


      The Early Implementation of College Promise Programs

      April, 2019
      Jacklyn Willard, Andrea Vasquez, Marco Lepe

      College Promise programs offer scholarships for up to 100 percent of tuition and fees. Many Promise programs are adding to their models by providing students with support services. MDRC’s College Promise Success Initiative (CPSI) works with Promise programs interested in including such services; this brief provides some early implementation lessons.

      Issue Focus

      The Detroit Promise Path

      May, 2018

      A student success program for Detroit Promise scholarship recipients combines coaching, a monthly incentive, summer outreach to keep students engaged, and a management information system used to communicate with students and track their progress. This Issue Focus provides more detail about the program model and shares early implementation lessons.

  • Other Publications

  • Projects