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

This brief summarizes the evidence from studies of multifaceted support programs aimed at boosting college graduation rates. It examines what works and the state and institutional factors necessary for successful implementation, and offers advice on how to balance fidelity with local needs while measuring and ensuring positive impacts.

Issue Focus

In this commentary, originally published in The Hill, MDRC’s Alyssa Ratledge highlights the value of postsecondary institutions in rural communities and describes innovations that rural colleges have developed during the pandemic that could be expanded with more support.

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.