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Opening Doors to Student Success: A Synthesis of Findings From an Evaluation at Six Community Colleges

Published: March 2011

Publisher(s): MDRC

Author(s): Scrivener, Susan; Erin Coghlan

Funder(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York

View Report (12 pages; 806KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: College and Career Preparation

Abstract

The research brief describes different interventions tested to improve student educational outcomes in six community colleges, outlines lessons learned, and offers suggestions to policymakers and practitioners.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+Financial incentives tied to academic performance substantially improved academic outcomes—students were more likely to attend college full time and earned better grades and more credits—and the positive effects continued when most students were no longer eligible for the scholarship.

+Mandatory enhanced services for probationary students increased cumulative GPAs and almost doubled the proportion that moved off probation compared with the control group but did not increase persistence during the follow-up period.

=Learning communities and enhanced academic counseling had positive short-term effects that diminished after the programs ended.

Focus: New Orleans, LA; Brooklyn, NY; Elyria, OH; Findlay, OH; Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Subjects/Keywords: Academic Probation; Community College; Developmental Education; Financial Aid; Higher Education; Learning Community; Low-Income; Persistence; Reform; Scholarship; Student Services

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
Challenge

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