Developmental Education

Report

The Experience of Six Community Colleges

March, 2010
Mary Visher, Emily Schneider, Heather Wathington, Herbert Collado

Learning communities, which enroll groups of students together in coordinated classes, are increasingly being used to help developmental-level students succeed. This report on the Learning Communities Demonstration, a large-scale, random assignment evaluation, describes the strategies that six community colleges used and the challenges they faced in scaling up their programs.

Report

Progress and Challenges During the First Year of the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education Initiative

May, 2011
Janet Quint, D. Crystal Byndloss, Herbert Collado, Alissa Gardenhire, Asya Magazinnik, Genevieve Orr, Rashida Welbeck, Shanna S. Jaggars

This report examines the Achieving the Dream Developmental Education Initiative, an effort to expand promising developmental education interventions in 15 community colleges. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the colleges made progress and encountered challenges in implementing reform strategies in four key areas: changes in curriculum and instruction, academic and student supports, institutionwide policy changes, and precollege interventions.

Report

The Opening Doors Demonstration

June, 2005
Thomas Brock, Allen J. LeBlanc

The Opening Doors Demonstration is designed to show how community colleges can help more low-income students remain in school and improve other outcomes, including degree attainment, labor market success, and personal and social well-being.

Brief

A Synthesis of Findings from an Evaluation at Six Community Colleges

March, 2011
Susan Scrivener, Erin Coghlan

MDRC’s Opening Doors Demonstration, launched in 2003 with six community colleges, provides some of the first rigorous evidence that a range of interventions can improve educational outcomes for community college students. This 12-page policy brief describes the strategies tested, discusses the results, and offers suggestions to policymakers and practitioners for moving forward.

Report

An Impact Study at Hillsborough Community College

June, 2010
Michael J. Weiss, Mary Visher, Heather Wathington

A random assignment study of learning communities that linked a developmental reading course and a “college success” course finds that faculty collaboration and curricular integration increased over time. Overall, the program had no impact on students’ academic success, but evidence suggests that it had some positive effects for the last cohort of students in the study.

Report

Impact Studies at Queensborough and Houston Community Colleges

February, 2011
Evan Weissman, Kristin F. Butcher, Emily Schneider, Jedediah Teres, Herbert Collado, David H. Greenberg

Learning communities, which co-enroll small groups of students into linked courses, are a popular strategy for helping developmental students at community colleges succeed. This report examines the impacts of one-semester learning communities for developmental math students at Queensborough Community College and Houston Community College. At both colleges, students in learning communities attempted and passed their developmental math class at higher rates than students in a control group. However, this impact generally did not translate into increased cumulative progress in math by the end of two or three semesters.

Report

How Much Do Achieving the Dream Colleges Spend — and from What Resources — to Become Data-Driven Institutions?

June, 2010

This report analyzes the experiences of five community colleges that participate in Lumina Foundation’s Achieving the Dream initiative and the investments they made in implementing an institutional improvement process aimed at increasing students’ success. The report examines how, where, and with what resources these colleges supported their reforms, as well as the key activities driving their overall expenditures.

Report

Impact Studies at Merced College and The Community College of Baltimore County

February, 2012
Evan Weissman, Dan Cullinan, Oscar Cerna, Stephanie Safran, Phoebe Richman

Two colleges implemented semester-long learning communities linking developmental English with a range of other courses. At Merced, learning communities students earned more developmental English credits and passed more English courses than a control group. At CCBC, there were no meaningful impacts on students’ credit attempts or progress. Neither college’s program had an impact on persistence or on cumulative credits earned.

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