MDRC is evaluating efforts by community colleges to increase student success through institution-wide reforms, including using information about students’ progress over time to make better-informed programming decisions and developing well-structured, well-supported pathways for students from entry to degree completion.

The Latest
Brief

Living-wage jobs increasingly require postsecondary education, though nonacademic career and technical education can also boost earning potential. But noncredit program benefits can be limited, so some community colleges are bridging the academic-nonacademic divide. This brief describes methods and strategies for connecting and promoting noncredit and credit pathways for students.

Brief

Colleges often use standardized testing to determine whether incoming students need developmental courses. But those tests do not predict students’ college readiness accurately. This brief explains how the use of alternative multiple measures can improve placement decisions, increase college-level course pass rates, and boost progress toward graduation.

Key Documents
Report

Lessons from the Developmental Education Initiative

This report examines the efforts of 15 community colleges that expanded preexisting interventions or put in place new ones directed toward helping students move through developmental coursework more quickly and more successfully.

Report

Five Years of Achieving the Dream in Community Colleges

This interim report examines the experiences of the first 26 colleges to join the ambitious Achieving the Dream initiative. Launched by Lumina Foundation for Education in 2004, Achieving the Dream helps community colleges collect and analyze student performance data in order to build a “culture of evidence,” enabling the colleges to use that knowledge to develop programs to increase students’ academic success.

Report

A Case Study of Three Achieving the Dream Colleges

This report examines the experiences of three of the 83 colleges currently involved in the Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count project, an initiative of Lumina Foundation for Education, and their efforts to improve instruction in developmental education classrooms.