In this commentary, originally published in The Hill, MDRC’s Alyssa Ratledge highlights the value of postsecondary institutions in rural communities and describes innovations that rural colleges have developed during the pandemic that could be expanded with more support.
Perspectives and Considerations for Supporting Movement Across Workforce and Academic Programs in Community Colleges
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.
MDRC, Ascendium Education Group, and Rural Matters partnered to present an audio series about higher education that aired on the Rural Matters podcast. This special supplement presents summaries of all four installments in that series.
A Statewide Education Collaboration That Centers on Rural Communities
A West Virginia campaign to double college degree attainment by 2030 includes five evidence-based strategies proven to help students succeed and is customized to suit the particular needs of rural communities. This paper summarizes Part II of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
Research-Based Advice for Community College Administrators
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.
Findings and Lessons from Three Colleges’ Efforts to Build on the iPASS Initiative
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.
College Access Strategies in Rural Communities of Color
Education strategies that consider the local context, needs, and desires of rural students of color, who have historically been shut out of equal access to a college education, are getting increasing attention. This paper summarizes Part III of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
Rural colleges are using technological advantages to try to boost enrollment as well as their local economies through infrastructure development and workforce training in advanced fields. This paper summarizes Part IV of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
Lessons from Two Decades of Research and Technical Assistance
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.
Toward Better College Completion Rates
MDRC has developed a body of rigorous evidence on interventions designed to help low-income college students succeed. This issue brief draws six lessons from that work for colleges and policymakers as they seek to improve college completion rates.