Academic Supports

Redesigning School Accountability and Support: Progress in Pioneering States

With the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states now have flexibility to design more balanced accountability systems. This report details the advancement made by 10 states to create accountability systems that support meaningful learning opportunities, especially in terms of current policy and capacity-building efforts in designing accountability frameworks. Included in this report are examples of state legislation, working papers, and board meeting minutes.

In Search of a Match: A Guide for Helping Students Make Informed College Choices

This guide from MDRC is intended for counselors, teachers, and advisers. It offers strategies for helping low-income families and students identify colleges that are a good fit for their academic profiles and financial needs. Most of the suggestions in this guide come from insights through the College Match Program, a pilot program implemented in Chicago and New York City to address the problem of high school students enrolling in colleges they are academically overqualified for and for students who do not apply to college at all.

Reducing Summer Melt: Helping 12th Graders Successfully Transition to College

How many students have you or a colleague helped get into college with a good financial aid package only to discover later that they never enrolled? Unfortunately, every year, thousands of 12th graders finish high school excited about going to college, only to fall off track. This is especially common among those whose families have little to no experience navigating the final steps they must take to matriculate.

New REL Midwest Report Highlights Online Course Use in Iowa and Wisconsin

The use of online courses has grown rapidly over the past decade and is projected to increase, yet few states or districts collect data about how and why schools enroll students in online courses. Accurately capturing student participation is complicated by the variety of ways that schools use online learning. As online learning grows exponentially, we need more information about how schools are using it to inform policy and best practice.

Concurrent Enrollment Thriving in Rural Schools Despite Challenges

Rural students are less likely to enroll in college than their urban peers.[i] But new college credit programs have given rural students a convenient alternative path to post-secondary education. Concurrent enrollment programs – high schools offering college coursework – can benefit rural students, given that participation in concurrent enrollment programs increases the likelihood of not only college enrollment, but college completion.

Laying Tracks to Graduation: The First Year of Implementing Diplomas Now

This report explores how Talent Development Secondary, City Year, and Community in Schools formed the Diplomas Now project to reduce the dropout rate in urban secondary schools and prepare students for college and careers. Diplomas Now is a data-driven, tiered intervention model funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) competition in addition to matching funds from private organizations. The program's model focuses on early warning indicators of on-time graduation, including attendance, behavior, and course performance.

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