This study evaluates the replication of a community college intervention program, Stay the Course, that is designed to address the “life barriers” – as distinct from specific academic barriers – that challenge many economically-disadvantaged students. The key components of the intervention are coaching/mentoring services and emergency financial assistance.
The goal of this replication project is to implement the Stay the Course program with fidelity to the original intervention model and to assess the impact of this model in other settings. A replication study is important in order to test the generalizability of the Stay the Course model and to determine whether this is an intervention that can be prescribed broadly to lift low-income students out of poverty. The program was first implemented and evaluated at a large community college in Fort Worth, TX (AEARCTR-0000223). The program is being replicated in four community colleges located in Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, and Missouri.
We will use administrative records to track student academic outcomes for at least three years post random assignment. The main outcomes of interest are total credit hours completed, re-enrollment rates, and degrees or certificates obtained. Demographic data obtained from student records will be used to investigate how treatment effects vary across student subgroups.