Full-time enrollment in first term: ASAP

Among students with developmental need, percentage who enrolled full-time during the first semester

What Is Measured?

The percentage of students who were enrolled full-time during the first semester of the study's tracking period

Who Is Counted?

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.

What It Tells Us

Some 96 percent of students who participated in ASAP enrolled full-time in the first semester after the study began, while 85 percent of the control group did so.

Why It's Important

Community college students who enroll full time during their first term are more likely to persist and eventually complete their program or transfer. By definition, full-time students attempt more credits than part-time students, so they are better able to earn a substantial number of credits during their first year (another measure of Progress). Not all students who enroll full time in their first term will enroll full time in all subsequent terms, but those who enroll exclusively full time are more likely to earn a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor's degree than those who enroll part time for at least one term.

About the Data

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.

Data Source

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.