California

Issue Focus

A Synthesis of Post-Program Effects in Higher Education

March, 2021

Some education programs’ early positive effects disappear over time, while other programs have unanticipated positive long-term effects. This Issue Focus introduces The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trials, an examination of program effects after a postsecondary education program ends, using a database drawn from 31 MDRC projects, sampling 67,400 stu­dents.

The California State University ( CSU ) system is proposing a policy change that would require graduating high school students, beginning with the entering first-year class of 2027, to complete one additional course in quantitative reasoning to meet the minimum qualifications for first-year admission. The objectives for this proposed policy change are to help ensure...

Report
February, 2021
Jillian Berk, Ariella Kahn-Lang Spitzer, Jillian Stein, Karen Needels, Christian Geckeler, Anne Paprocki, Ivette Gutierrez, Megan Millenky

Participants in the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program are more likely to obtain a GED or high school diploma, earn college credits, and be employed. This study evaluates an expansion called Job ChalleNGe, which includes more court-involved youth and includes an add-on residential training program.

Brief

Perspectives and Considerations for Supporting Movement Across Workforce and Academic Programs in Community Colleges

February, 2021

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

What Several Months of COVID-19 Revealed in the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) Demonstration

December, 2020
Peter Baird, Michael Hayes, Sharon Henderson, Tanya Johnson

The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief describes the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on PJAC project agencies and parents during the spring and summer of 2020, and examines agencies’ responses.

Issue Focus
December, 2020

When COVID-19 upended normal operations at STRIVE, a workforce development nonprofit founded in New York, the Center for Applied Behavioral Science at MDRC documented the agency’s real-time innovations that allowed it to continue serving clients during the crisis. Greg Wise, STRIVE’s National Vice President, shared a first-hand account of the transition.

Report

Findings and Lessons from Three Colleges’ Efforts to Build on the iPASS Initiative

December, 2020
Cynthia Miller, Benjamin Cohen, Edith Yang, Lauren Pellegrino

The iPASS initiative aims to helps colleges use technology-based advising practices to improve students’ academic performance and college completion rates. This report describes how three schools used enhanced iPASS services in an effort to strengthen and reform their existing advising practices, including the standard version of iPASS.

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.

Brief

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.

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