National graduation rates for community college students who need developmental education are astonishingly low. According to the 2016 NCES Condition of Education Report, only 28% earned a degree in 8.5 years. These students desperately need extra help to overcome academic, social, and financial obstacles and complete their degrees.

Nearly 70% of community college students need remedial courses*
28% of these students complete their degree in 8.5 years**


* Remedial Course taking at U.S. Public 2- and 4-Year Institutions: Scope, Experiences, and Outcomes Statistical Analysis Report - September 2016.

** NCES Condition of Education Report


Through a five-year, $5 million commitment, Great Lakes is funding a replication demonstration of the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) developed by the City University of New York (CUNY). This program has proven to graduate thousands of students at more than twice the rate of their peers.

Partnering with MDRC, a social and education policy research organization; the Ohio Department of Higher Education; and CUNY, Great Lakes supports the implementation and evaluation of ASAP at Lorain County Community College, Cuyahoga Community College District (Tri-C) and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. A total of 1,500 low-income students are benefitting from a comprehensive array of services and supports over a three-year period designed to help more students graduate and graduate sooner.

This new effort will evaluate how models like ASAP can be adapted and scaled by other states and colleges wishing to boost completion rates across the country. We look forward to sharing what we learn.


Project Timeline:
1) 2014-2015 Program planning and pilot period
2) 2015-2016 Recruitments and random assignment: 1,500 students will be recruited to participate in the study. Half will be randomly selected to receive ASAP services; the other half will receive normal college services
3) 2015-2019 Program implementation and impacts assessment: MDRC will track both groups of students to assess the impact of ASAP on student outcomes, including graudation rates



Contact Senior Program Officer Sue Cui at