Rationale, Sites, and Research Design
Launched in 2007 by MDRC and the National Center for Postsecondary Research, the Learning Communities Demonstration is testing models of this promising approach in six community colleges in five states. This report describes the research design, including information about the colleges and their models, the random assignment process, data sources, analysis plans, and reporting schedule.
Two-Year Effects of a Freshmen Learning Community Program at Kingsborough Community College
Freshmen in a “learning community” at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY, moved more quickly through developmental English requirements, took and passed more courses, and earned more credits in their first semester than students in a control group. Two years later, they were also somewhat more likely to be enrolled in college.
Lessons from Research on Welfare Training Programs and Two Promising Community College Strategies
This working paper, prepared for a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, reviews what is known about education acquisition by low-wage workers and highlights promising strategies being tested at several community colleges.
How Financial Aid Affects Nontraditional Students in Community Colleges
Examining federal, state, and institutional programs, the paper presents a framework for understanding challenges to securing comprehensive financial assistance for low-income working students.
Instructional Innovations That Help Low-Income Students Succeed in Community College
This paper looks at curricular and program redesign strategies currently used by community colleges to speed nontraditional students’ advancement from lower levels of skill into credential programs and to shorten the time commitment required to earn a credential.
An Exploratory Focus Group Study
The Opening Doors initiative is designed to help low-wage workers, at-risk youth, and recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) earn college credentials as the pathway to better jobs and higher earnings. Concentrating on a program implemented in California, this report supplements efforts from an earlier Opening Doors focus group study to gain insights from low-income students on the factors that affect their ability to enroll in school and earn a college credential while balancing work and parenting responsibilities.
Impressions of Community College Access and Retention from Low-Wage Workers