Developmental Education

Issue Focus

MDRC’s Projects in Math for Low-Income Students, from Preschool to College

June, 2015

In our increasingly technological world, developing basic math skills is crucial. What can be done to promote more effective math education? This two-page issue focus describes a number of MDRC projects — from preschool to postsecondary education — that seek to improve the performance of low-income students in math.

Issue Focus

Evidence from Three Studies

June, 2015

Results from three random assignment studies at New York City community colleges suggest that year-round financial aid can increase enrollment during the summer and winter sessions — and that summer and winter enrollment can help students earn more credits.

Report

Early Findings from the New Mathways Project

April, 2015

Developmental math is too often an obstacle to community college students’ success. By shifting the emphasis from “algebra for all” to math skills with broader career relevance — such as quantitative literacy and statistics — and revising course structure and sequence, this Texas-wide education reform is off to a promising start.

Report

Three-Year Effects of CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for Developmental Education Students

February, 2015

The City University of New York’s comprehensive ASAP program nearly doubles the three-year graduation rate for developmental education students in community college – at a lower cost-per-degree than regular services. ASAP also increases rates of transfer to four-year colleges.

The Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) conducts research to document current practices in developmental English and math education across the United States and to rigorously evaluate innovative assessment and instructional practices. CAPR, led by MDRC and the Community College Research Center, is funded by the federal Institute of Education Sciences.

Many students enter postsecondary education underprepared academically, and the success rate for these students is low. At open access colleges (like community colleges), underprepared students are typically referred to developmental (or remedial) coursework, often in the form of multilevel, noncredit course sequences in reading, English, and math.

Report

Performance-Based Scholarships, Student Services, and Developmental Math at Hillsborough Community College

October, 2014
Colleen Sommo, Melissa Boynton, Herbert Collado, John Diamond, Alissa Gardenhire, Alyssa Ratledge, Timothy Rudd, Michael J. Weiss

This program provides an incentive for developmental math students to take their math courses early and consecutively, get help in an on-campus Math Lab, and strive for passing grades or better, in exchange for a modest performance-based scholarship. Compared with standard services, the program's effects are modest but positive.

Issue Focus

The Importance of Evidence

July, 2014

In this essay, adapted from remarks made to the Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange 2014 Conference on Scaling Impact, MDRC President Gordon Berlin explains why developing reliable evidence of effectiveness is critical when expanding programs to a large scale.

Report

Lessons from the First Round of Achieving the Dream Community Colleges

April, 2014

Launched in 2004, Achieving the Dream is designed to help community colleges collect and analyze student performance data and apply the results to help students succeed. This report offers lessons from the first 26 colleges to join the national initiative, which now includes more than 200 institutions.

Pages