MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) seeks to improve graduation rates for traditionally underserved students at two- and four-year colleges. Since 2019, MDRC has partnered with states and institutions to develop and implement large-scale, financially sustainable, evidence-based support programs. SUCCESS, now operating in 13 colleges across five states nationwide, integrates components from multiple programs that have proved to be effective at helping students accomplish their goals. The components include coaching, full-time enrollment, financial incentives, and data-driven management.
This issue shares early program implementation lessons from an evaluation of SUCCESS and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the program model. The lessons, gleaned from interviews with over 100 students and program staff members, reflect experiences that could be relevant to other student support programs, including those that operate in online, in-person, and hybrid environments.