Publication | May 13, 2021

Comprehensive Approaches to Student Success: Design Principles

There are many strategies for increasing college persistence and completion, but one model has emerged that is backed by an increasingly robust body of evidence: comprehensive approaches to student success (CASS). Six CASS models – CUNY ASAP, InsideTrack, MAAPS, One Million Degrees, Project QUEST, and Stay the Course – have been evaluated using randomized control trials, and as a result, there is a strong body of evidence that shows CASS programs impact short-term outcomes, such as persistence, credit accumulation and more.

In partnership with MDRC, LEO, and Results for America, TICAS has been engaged in a community of practice with these six CASS programs throughout the past year and a half, with the goal understand these programs’ impact and common design elements, as well as what it would take to scale these approaches to meaningfully move the needle on college completion among underserved students nationally. Though these programs operate in different contexts and communities around the country, and vary in significant ways, they have three core elements in common and share several more.