November 9—11, 2023
Atlanta, GA

A Long-Term Look at Multiple Measures Assessment: Impact Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial

November 9, 3:30 PM ET

The results previewed here further support the use of MMA as compared to traditional test-based systems, with a few specific lessons for policy and practice. First, findings from the current study suggest that increased access to college-level courses improves students’ chances of completing college-level math and English courses. In other words, MMA’s potential to improve student outcomes is explained by the redistribution of students from developmental courses to college-level courses. Secondly, although research has shown that many students will succeed in college-level courses when given the chance to enroll in them, we find that the impact of MMA on student outcomes decreases over time. Therefore, to bolster long-term student success, MMA should be implemented alongside additional student supports. Finally, MMA has the potential to address disparities by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender if placement systems are designed with inclusive placement measures and implemented alongside targeted support programs post-placement to meet the needs of specific populations as they navigate college.


Elizabeth Kopko, Senior Research Associate, CCRC

College Costs and Student Decisions–Understanding the Benefits and Challenges of Working During College

November 10, 8:30–10:00 AM ET
Embassy H, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Using data from an original survey conducted at 16 campuses (including both community and four-year colleges) within a large, urban public higher education system, over 25 student interviews and administrative data, we describe patterns of behavior associated with working. Specifically, we answer the following research questions:

  • What are the benefits and tradeoffs associated with working during college?
  • How does working while enrolled, and the associated benefits and tradeoffs, vary by student characteristics, campus sector and employment type?

We find that students do make decisions about courses and campus engagement to accommodate their work schedule. For example, 68 percent of the students we surveyed report choosing a class or classes to accommodate their work schedule and 38 percent report that they spend less time on campus because of work. These types of tradeoffs could have long-run impacts on students, forcing them to take longer to graduate or reducing the likelihood they choose a course-intensive major, such as those in the STEM fields. On the other hand, we find that students also report benefits from working including widening their professional networks and improving their people skills.


Adela Soliz, Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy, Vanderbilt University

Veronica Minaya, Senior Research Associate and Program Lead, CCRC

Amy E. Brown, Research Associate, CCRC

Joseph Hille, Research Assistant, CCRC

An Unprecedented Investment: Analysis of Pandemic Recovery Funds at Community Colleges

November 11, 12:00–1:30 PM ET

Hyatt Regency

To date, there is no clear picture of how community colleges have used federal recovery funds, what institutional and student needs are being addressed by funds, and what needs are unmet. We do know that how much money each institution received depended on a variety of factors but was ultimately based on student enrollment levels. Unfortunately, the funding formula for the initial round of HEER funds disfavored community colleges with their high enrollments of both part-time students and distance learners. The subsequent funding acts adjusted their funding formulas to additionally include both non-distance and distance headcount enrollment of both full- and part-time students, with non-distance headcount enrollment (all full- and part- time students taking classes on-campus) weighted equally to full-time equivalent enrollment.

In this study, we collected data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Stabilization (ESF) Fund Transparency Portal and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS) to analyze how much community colleges have spent of their pandemic relief funds and to illuminate patterns by institutional and student characteristics. P

This analysis provides current and vital information on what has actually happened during the turbulence of the last three years, as well as providing assessments on how well critical policies have served their intent. Through this work, we inform policymakers, practitioners, and other researchers on funding and spending trends, drawing lessons to inform pandemic recovery efforts and to plan for future public health or other emergencies.


Tia Monahan, Senior Research Assistant and PEAR Fellow, CCRC