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More Success With CUNY’s ASAP Program

During the pandemic, the student success program produced positive impacts on short-term outcomes in a randomized controlled trial at Westchester Community College.

(Courtesy Photo of Juliette Pacheco)

Juliette Pacheco entered Westchester Community College (WCC) with a plate already full of responsibilities: As a mother of three, she felt overwhelmed when she arrived. However, she applied to the Viking ROADS scholar program, based on the well-studied CUNY ASAP student success program. ASAP is a comprehensive community college program that provides academic, personal, and financial supports to low-income students who need remedial education. Once she was accepted, her path cleared. 

Thanks to the Viking ROADS program, I graduated from WCC with confidence, a 3.8‑grade point average, and a full scholarship from PepsiCo,” Pacheco said. The support I received from Viking ROADS taught me to be my own advocate, and it built confidence in myself that I never knew I could have or was worthy of. My advisor guided me through every obstacle I ran into, and as I overcame every obstacle and turned it into an achievement, my confidence flourished. The skills that I developed as a Viking ROADS member have prepared me for life. This program taught me that the reward of perseverance will outweigh any fear of doubt or failure.”

A recent brief on interim findings from a replication RCT of the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) in Westchester Community Colleges — Viking ROADS — found that the program has thus far produced statistically significant impacts on two short-term primary outcomes. The program produced a 15 percentage point increase in full time enrollment and a three-credit increase in credits earned measured 12 – 18 months after random assignment, putting it on track to replicate the large impacts on graduation found in two prior studies of the ASAP program.

Other randomized controlled trials of CUNY ASAP have shown that the program nearly doubles graduation rates. The study at Westchester Community College is a replication trial conducted during the pandemic, when many students needed additional support, and interim results look promising.

These early results are quite promising and suggest that the ASAP model may be equally effective under a variety of settings and circumstances.
Amanda Moderson-Kox director of evidence-based policy for Arnold Ventures

It’s always exciting to see replicated findings from RCTs conducted under different contexts,” said Arnold Ventures’ Director of Evidence-Based Policy Amanda Moderson-Kox. These early results are quite promising and suggest that the ASAP model may be equally effective under a variety of settings and circumstances. That’s good news for policymakers interested in bringing the program to community colleges in their jurisdictions.” 

A final report with three-year findings will be released in 2024 measuring the study’s long-term primary outcome — degree attainment. 

Read the interim findings brief from MDRC, learn about the Viking ROADS program, and hear from a Juliette Pacheco, a student who participated in the program.