Pennsylvania

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.

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.

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.

Report

Findings from a Study of Teach For America’s Handoff Program

September, 2020

This study evaluated TFA’s initiative to better align its regional in-service training during the school year with its national pre-service summer teacher training, which emphasized a productive learning environment and diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. Teachers who received more in-service training in those national components adopted more culturally relevant classroom practices.

Report

Studying Enhancements to Colleges’ iPASS Practices

July, 2019
Alexander Mayer, Hoori Santikian Kalamkarian, Benjamin Cohen, Lauren Pellegrino, Melissa Boynton, Edith Yang

Frequent advising seems to help struggling students, but advisers’ time is limited; could technology make a difference? This study examines the effects of three institutions’ efforts to expand the use of advising technologies and to use administrative and communication strategies to increase student contact with advisers.

For The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trial project ( THE - RCT ), MDRC has created the largest individual-participant database from higher education randomized controlled trials to date. THE - RCT makes standardized, deidentified data from more than 25 studies covering 50 institutions of higher education and 65,000 students securely available to...

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