Publication | July 6, 2022

How Comprehensive Student Success Programs Learned and Adapted Through COVID-19

TICAS, in partnership with MDRC and LEO, has worked for more than a year and a half with a community of seven evidence-based college completion programs. These programs, which span the country geographically, all employ a similar model that uses counselors, coaches, or case managers to connect students with a range of support – personal, financial, and academic – to help them complete college. All have also undergone rigorous evaluations that have shown statistically significant impacts on college persistence, completion, and student earnings after graduation.

We met with them in February and again in May to discuss their experience over the last two years and to learn how they have adapted to keep as many students on track to graduate as possible. This paper summarizes those lessons learned and offers some insights for the field on innovative approaches to recruiting and retaining students during a time of enormous pressure and upheaval.