Confirming Promising Ideas

Validation Grants

Our goal is to test good ideas, and we use validation grants to determine which programs make the grade.

These grants are awarded to independent researchers who rigorously evaluate a program. Funding typically runs longer than a year, so we can answer one of two questions: Is the program as effective as preliminary data suggests? Or if already proven effective, can it be as successful in another location?

Think of these grants as a vetting process to see "if there's a there there."

Currently Funded Programs Include:

Training for Emergency Grant Decision-Makers

Making yes or no easier

By providing training materials to emergency grant staff, we can help them make decisions that prevent eligible students from dropping out due to unexpected financial setbacks. We hope this will help more students stay enrolled and on the path to graduation.

Engaging Adjunct Faculty Initiative

Helping part-time faculty fully connect to students

Part-time adjunct faculty often lack training in teaching methods and campus resources—hindering the success of diverse learners. This Achieving the Dream™ initiative seeks ways to both improve adjunct faculty teaching quality and increase awareness of student support programs.

ASAP Replication Demonstration

Two-times increase in graduation

Can an innovative program from New York City that dramatically boosts community college graduation rates work elsewhere? We're finding out.

STEM Pipeline Study

50% fail to finish

With more than 50% of low-income students leaving STEM majors before graduation, we want to see if providing additional financial aid can change that.

Ease Summer Enrollment Grant

Encouraging additional summer enrollment

Many community college students enroll part time or inconsistently, and the more time they spend out of school, the less likely they are to graduate. That's why we're working with community colleges in Ohio to learn if attending summer school can help more students graduate and graduate faster.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative

Lowering student expenses by one-third

Can a degree program using free online materials in place of textbooks improve student success rates? We're joining forces with Achieving The Dream™ to find out.

The Degree Project®

2.5 GPA plus 90 percent attendance equals 12,000 dollars scholarship

In collaboration with the Milwaukee Public Schools, we'll learn if the promise of a college scholarship promotes good grades, graduation, and matriculation.