The percentage of students who were enrolled in a four-year college, by year after start of study
Students enrolled during spring 2010 or fall 2010 at three City University of New York (CUNY) community colleges who were in need of developmental education, among other eligibility requirements. Students were randomly assigned to either the ASAP group or the control group.
Three years after the start of the tracking period, 25 percent of ASAP participants was enrolled in a four-year college, while 17 percent of the control group was.
At community colleges, graduation means attainment of a certificate or associate degree. However, many students attend community colleges to take lower-division courses for a bachelor's degree, and some transfer to a four-year institution without obtaining a credential. From the perspective of the community college, these students have finished a curriculum that prepared them for transfer and, therefore, should be considered as having completed. Some states even track and report which community college students graduate from other institutions. Most sources, however, do not specify what proportion of transfer students have finished the coursework required for upper-division standing at the four-year college, and research suggests that many students transfer without reaching this threshold. A completion rate that combines transfer and degree attainment is sometimes referred to as a "success rate."
The Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is a program operated by CUNY that is designed to help more students graduate and graduate more quickly, by providing them with student services, financial supports, and other services for up to three years. These data come from an evaluation study of the program conducted by MDRC. Students were randomly assigned to the program group or the control group in two cohorts: one just before the spring 2010 semester and one before the fall 2010 semester. Their outcomes were tracked for three years afterward.
The three CUNY community colleges included in the study were Borough of Manhattan Community College, Kingsborough Community College, and LaGuardia Community College.
Eligibility requirements for the study: students who had family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level or were eligible for a Pell Grant (or both), needed one or two developmental courses (for math, reading, or writing), had previously earned 12 credits or fewer, were New York City residents, were willing to attend college full time, and were in an ASAP-eligible major.
Six-year completion rates are not yet available for this group.
ASAP requires treatment group students to attend college full time and encourages them to take developmental courses early and to graduate within three years. It also provides many other resources including advisement, career services, tutoring, linked courses, goal-setting and study skills, tuition waivers, MetroCards and use of textbooks.
Scrivener, S., Weiss, M.J., Ratledge, A., Rudd, T., Sommo, C., and Fresques, H. (2015, February). Doubling Graduation Rates: Three-Year Effects of CUNY's Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for Developmental Education Students. New York: MDRC.