Developmental Education

Report

A Background Paper

December, 2005
Derek V. Price

Interest in learning communities at colleges and universities is growing, as is early evidence of their impact on student success. This paper reviews the history, theory, and research on learning communities, describes how they operate, and proposes a multicollege demonstration project to build more conclusive evidence of their effectiveness.

Report

A Case Study of Peer Leader Programs at Two Achieving the Dream Colleges

February, 2012

Northern Essex Community College and Bunker Hill Community College employed academically successful students to serve as peer leaders to offer additional classroom assistance to fellow students in developmental and introductory college-level courses. The report discusses how the colleges designed and implemented these programs and offers insights into students’ experiences in peer-assisted courses.

Report

An Impact Evaluation of the Beacon Program at South Texas College

February, 2010
Mary Visher, Kristin F. Butcher, Oscar Cerna

Created as part of the national Achieving the Dream initiative, a “light touch” intervention targeting students enrolled in lower-level math courses increased the number of students using campus tutoring and academic services. While the program has not improved math class pass rates or persistence in college overall, it has had positive effects for part-time and developmental students.

Report

An Implementation and Early Impacts Study of Eight Texas Developmental Summer Bridge Programs

October, 2011
Heather Wathington, Elisabeth A. Barnett, Evan Weissman, Jedediah Teres, Joshua Pretlow, Aki Nakanishi

For entering college students with low basic skills, eight intensive summer programs provided accelerated instruction in math, reading, and/or writing; academic support; a “college knowledge” component; and the opportunity to receive a $400 stipend. Early results suggest that participants were more likely to pass entry-level college courses in math and writing.

Report

Early Results from the Opening Doors Demonstration in Ohio

April, 2007
Susan Scrivener, Michael Pih

This report presents the early results from MDRC’s evaluation of the Opening Doors program at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio. The two-semester program offered intensive student advising services and a modest scholarship to low-income students to encourage them to stay in school and earn credentials.

Report

A Case Study of an Achieving the Dream College

September, 2009

Achieving the Dream teaches community colleges to use student data to improve programming and student success. Since participating, Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina has become a data-driven, success-oriented institution and has seen promising trends in student achievement. This study offers lessons for other colleges undertaking similar institutional reform.

Report

Instructional Innovations That Help Low-Income Students Succeed in Community College

July, 2003
Richard Kazis, Marty Liebowitz

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.

Working Paper

The Policy and Practice of Assessing and Placing Students in Developmental Education Courses

March, 2010
Stephanie Safran, Mary Visher

This paper reports on case studies conducted at three community colleges to learn about how the colleges assess students for placement in developmental education courses. The case studies identify several problems and challenges, including lack of consensus about the standard for college-level work, the high-stakes nature of the assessments, and the minimal relationship between assessment for placement and diagnosis for instruction.

Report

Early Results from the Opening Doors Demonstration at Kingsborough Community College

June, 2005

Opening Doors Learning Communities, a program serving mostly low-income freshmen at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY, improved course and test pass rates, particularly in English.

Report

An Impact Study of Career-Focused Learning Communities at Kingsborough Community College

July, 2011
Mary Visher, Jedediah Teres

Students took two courses in their major and one on careers associated with their major. Active, collaborative, and interdisciplinary learning was emphasized. No meaningful impacts on educational outcomes were found for the full sample, but recent transfer students saw a modest positive impact on credits earned during the program semester.

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