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Increasing Community College Graduation Rates with a Proven Model: Three-Year Results from the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Ohio Demonstration

January 22, 2020

The nation's community colleges play a central role in producing a more educated workforce and promoting social mobility. They serve about 40 percent of all college students and, not surprisingly, they serve a disproportionate number of low-income and underrepresented students. But most students who enter these colleges do not graduate — only about a third of entering students earn a degree or certificate within six years. Among the many programs that have attempted to increase graduation rates, one program stands out. Developed by the City University of New York (CUNY), the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is a comprehensive program that provides students with up to three years of financial and academic support and other support services. Along with those services and other forms of support comes an obligation to attend full time and participate in essential program services. An experimental evaluation of CUNY ASAP found that the program nearly doubled graduation rates after three years. This report presents findings through three years from a replication of the ASAP model at three community colleges in Ohio. Low-income students were randomly assigned either to a program group, who could participate in their colleges' new programs based closely on ASAP (called the Ohio Programs), or to a control group, who could receive the usual college services. Comparing the two groups' outcomes provides an estimate of the Ohio Programs' effects. 

Moving into Adulthood: Implementation Findings from the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation

March 3, 2014

The Youth Villages Transitional Living program is intended to help youth who were formerly in foster care or juvenile justice custody, or who are otherwise unprepared for adult life, to make the transition to independent living. Youth Villages, which serves emotionally and behaviorally troubled young people, operates a number of programs in addition to Transitional Living.All of its programs are based on a set of core principles that emphasize treatment planning, systematic assessment of participating youth, and delivery of only evidence-informed practices within a highly structured supervisory system. Transitional Living clients receive intensive, individualized, and clinically focused and communnity-based case management, support, and counseling from staff who carry caseloads of about eight clients each. Youth eligibility is determined through an extensive recruitment and assessment process. Once youth are enrolled, Transitional Living staff continue to assess them to identify needs and work with them to develop goals, which become the basis of required weekly meetings. Over nine months, on average, program participants get support for education, housing, mental or physical health, employment, and life skills. This support is provided in a variety of forms, including action-oriented activities that involve completing a specific task during a weekly session or through more traditional counseling techniques.The Transitional Living Evaluation is focused exclusively on the program in Tennessee, although Youth Villages also has Transitional Living programs in six other states.