Reports

A Good Start: Two-Year Effects of a Freshmen Learning Community Program at Kingsborough Community College

MDRC/Network on Transitions to Adulthood

While freshmen in college benefit from extra counseling, financial aid and tutoring, the benefits last only slightly longer than the terms of such programs, according to a study of a semester-long program at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, N.Y. The study tracked 1,534 students until two years after the program ended.

Freshman enrolled in the Opening Doors learning program passed more courses and earned more credits during their first semester in the program than did their control-group peers. Follow-up data showed that the learning community did little to encourage student persistence. In the last semester of the report’s two-year follow-up, 53 percent of the program group had registered for at least one course at Kingsborough, as had 48 percent of the control group.

The Opening Doors Program is part of a multi-site demonstration project organized by MDRC, a nonprofit education and social policy research organization. Free, 166 pages. (510) 663-6372, www.mdrc.org/publications/473/full.pdf.

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