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Grantee Video Spotlight: MDRC

June 10, 2019

In 2007, the City University of New York (CUNY) created the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) to provide students with financial, academic and personal support services. Eight years after ASAP launched, an evaluation by education research organization MDRC, found ASAP had nearly doubled graduation rates for its participants. Among community college completion programs, this is an unusually large impact.

MDRC and CUNY partnered to replicate the success. They launched the Ohio Demonstration of the ASAP model with three Ohio community colleges — Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College.

ECMC Foundation granted MDRC $350,000 in 2016 to support the ASAP Ohio Demonstration and conduct a rigorous, in-depth analysis of its outcomes. The results of the project showed that CUNY ASAP’s comprehensive, proactive advising and support model for students could be successfully replicated.

Based on a study sample of 1,500 students, 19% of students in the program group graduated after two years compared with 7.9% the control group. These students also outperformed the control group on other success indicators, such as increased semester-to-semester persistence; and they earned an average of two additional credits per semester, which points to higher rates of full-time and summer enrollment. The lessons learned from the ASAP Ohio Demonstration will be used to improve student success at the three Ohio community colleges moving forward. MDRC notes that the initiative has inspired other schools to create their own ASAP-structured programs.

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