MDRC is investigating programs that integrate traditional instruction with such services as academic and nonacademic counseling, course preparation assistance, and career guidance to help students stay in school and succeed academically, while managing the competing demands of school, work, and family.

The Latest
Brief

Minnesota’s two-year project to improve student success and degree attainment focused on improved course placement methods, communications about satisfactory academic progress and policies, and comprehensive student support programs. A major lesson in this brief: Programs that show significant results must be implemented widely to change student outcomes meaningfully.

Issue Focus

In this commentary, originally published in Community College Daily, MDRC’s Alyssa Ratledge draws on years of research to make the case for the importance of adding robust support services to free tuition programs at community colleges.

Key Documents
Report

Four-Year Findings from Chaffey College’s Opening Doors Program

This program included a “College Success” course and offered enhanced counseling. A change from optional to required services led to increased program participation, and the new program decreased the percentage on academic probation after the two program semesters. Nevertheless, after four years, the program had no discernible effect on academic outcomes.

Issue Focus

MDRC’s evaluation of CUNY’s ASAP, which showed that the program is doubling the graduation rate of students who start with developmental needs, has gained a lot of attention. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about ASAP and the study — as well as their answers.

Testimony

Submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Following up on testimony delivered before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on August 5, 2015, Lashawn Richburg-Hayes submitted additional information on opportunities for innovation in financial aid and student support services in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.