Operation Graduation: A Controlled Experiment Targeting Persistence and Graduation for Community College Students
Community colleges offer great promise to help students build human capital. Yet three-fifths of current students report being ill informed about career opportunities, one-third want more academic advising, and fewer than half of community college students complete their associates or certificate program. This study will implement and evaluate an intervention aimed at increasing persistence and graduation at community colleges through a randomized evaluation at several community college campuses within the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH). This project will help to distinguish among several distinct hypotheses as to why college coaching/ counseling can be effective for students. The three treatment arms include 1) business as usual, 2) major, career and course planning sessions coupled with auto generated reminders, and 3) the same planning sessions coupled with intensive bi-weekly counseling from a professional based at the college. The results will help to identify the barriers to college completion and identify which elements of these interventions are the most effective.