Applying for a Success Replication Regrant? Consider These Resources.

January 2, 2018

By Bill DeBaun, Director of Data and Evaluation

In October, NCAN announced an exciting opportunity for members interested in establishing or expanding college success programs. NCAN will fund regrants of up to $45,000 over two years for up to 12 NCAN member organizations to increase the share of students who receive success services compared to those receiving access services by at least 20 percent in the first year and 15 percent in the second year. More information on this work, which is funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, is available on the NCAN website. The application deadline is Jan. 12.

Programs considering applying for this exciting opportunity may want to consider the resources below while preparing their applications.

First, out of the Benchmarking Project, NCAN profiled four members whose students achieve positive outcomes. NCAN’s website has a summary of the shared strategies that made these organizations successful, but it is worth diving into the individual case studies of Bottom LineDegrees of Change/Act SixI Know I Can, and Philadelphia Futures about their approaches.

Speaking of Bottom Line, the most recently released update to its randomized controlled trial (RCT) is available now. It finds that “in contrast to nearly all other interventions, in which intervention effects fade over time, the effects of [Bottom Line] are 40 percent larger in the 2nd year after high school graduation, during which treated students are 14 percentage points more likely to be enrolled in a four-year college than their control group counterparts.” The research also describes Bottom Line’s model and approach.

Earlier this year, NCAN’s blog featured Degrees of Change and its use of low- or no-cost online services to stay in touch with students on college campuses.

NCAN recently hosted a webinar titled “Getting Your Students To and Through: How to Start and Enhance Your Success Programming,” which featured presenters from various NCAN member organizations discussing:

  • Getting started: moving your organization from providing access services to providing access AND success services;
  • How it’s done: implementing effective retention/completion/success strategies;
  • Engaging higher ed: creating partnerships with postsecondary institutions; and
  • Using data: tracking outcomes and using data for service improvement.

Outside of NCAN’s resources, the links below may also be valuable for programs completing an application:

  • This literature review from the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation scans the literature for key features of programs effectively improving students’ postsecondary access and success outcomes. Pay particular attention to pages 8-14.
  • MDRC weighs in with a brief on how to improve college success for men of color. Across 82 programs working toward this goal, the five most common components were:
    • Academic advising and counseling
    • Academic and study skills training
    • Leadership training
    • Mentoring
    • Special events or workshops
  • MDRC also has two briefs on improving the success of students attending community colleges. First, a look at student services that are designed to improve the retention and academic progress of students. Second, an evaluation of institutions with distinct student interventions.
  • Finally, Achieving the Dream has a useful guide on how to assess student success interventions. Applicants for the upcoming regrant should brush up on logic modeling and the process of how to determine whether their success interventions are, well, successful.

NCAN looks forward to reviewing members’ applications for this exciting regrant opportunity. Be sure to submit by Jan. 12!

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