The average number of college-level credits earned during each semester of the tracking period
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.
During each semester, students participating in ASAP earned on average more college-level credits than students in the control group, though the difference is not as great as it is for total credits. Cumulatively, after three years, students participating in ASAP earned about 7.7 more college-level credits than those in the control group.
Students who intend to complete a program and obtain a credential or transfer to a four-year college must complete a required number of course credits. Even after the first year, earning a specific number of credits is a milestone that is associated with future success. For students who do not intend to graduate or transfer but may be more interested in improving their workforce skills or cultivating personal interests, earning a certain number of college-level credits may constitute a goal in and of itself.
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.
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.