Agenda, Scope, and Goals
OnPath has two main goals: (1) to develop student outreach campaigns to encourage continual student enrollment and persistence, especially among low-income students and (2) to train college personnel on behavioral science principles and message design strategies demonstrated to be effective by rigorous research.
During the first phase of the project, colleges will work with MDRC to conduct a diagnosis and needs assessment to understand barriers to student persistence and examine existing communication practices at the colleges. These findings will directly inform the communication strategy, including the content and delivery modes, and provide insights for college leadership.
Following diagnosis and needs assessment, college teams will participate in technical assistance workshops, hosted by MDRC, to learn about principles of behavioral science and student-centered communication and to start drafting messages for the outreach campaigns.
The student outreach campaigns will be launched during the enrollment period for fall 2021, and MDRC will work with each college over several semesters to continue refining and improving the campaigns.
Finally, MDRC will work with participating colleges to share resources, templates, and best practices with their peer institutions and the larger higher education community.