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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Brock, Thomas
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2010

    After a brief introduction on community colleges as a pathway to higher education and earnings, I describe a few approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of policies and programs designed to benefit students and issues to consider in determining standards of evidence. I then present three examples of programs that have been carefully studied and conclude with thoughts on bringing programs to scale. While there is much to be done to improve student outcomes there is also reason for optimism. Many states and colleges are piloting reforms, and there is a growing body of evidence on strategies that work.(Author Abstract)

    After a brief introduction on community colleges as a pathway to higher education and earnings, I describe a few approaches to evaluating the effectiveness of policies and programs designed to benefit students and issues to consider in determining standards of evidence. I then present three examples of programs that have been carefully studied and conclude with thoughts on bringing programs to scale. While there is much to be done to improve student outcomes there is also reason for optimism. Many states and colleges are piloting reforms, and there is a growing body of evidence on strategies that work.(Author Abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wachen, John; Jenkins, Davis; Belfield, Clive; Van Noy, Michelle; Richards, Amanda; Kulongoski, Kristen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) integrates the teaching of basic skills and technical content in order to accelerate basic skills students’ transition into and through a college-level occupational field of study.

    The study reported on here represents the final phase of a multi-year evaluation of the I-BEST model that began in 2009, conducted by CCRC in collaboration with MPR Associates and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Based on fieldwork undertaken in spring 2011 on 16 I-BEST programs at eight colleges, this report builds on CCRC’s earlier qualitative and quantitative research by seeking to understand those aspects of I-BEST that best support student learning, progression, and completion.

    In addition, the report considers the I-BEST student experience and presents the results of a cost-benefit analysis of the program. The findings and recommendations highlighted in the report will be of interest to funders, policymakers, and practitioners in other states who are considering transition interventions similar...

    Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) integrates the teaching of basic skills and technical content in order to accelerate basic skills students’ transition into and through a college-level occupational field of study.

    The study reported on here represents the final phase of a multi-year evaluation of the I-BEST model that began in 2009, conducted by CCRC in collaboration with MPR Associates and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Based on fieldwork undertaken in spring 2011 on 16 I-BEST programs at eight colleges, this report builds on CCRC’s earlier qualitative and quantitative research by seeking to understand those aspects of I-BEST that best support student learning, progression, and completion.

    In addition, the report considers the I-BEST student experience and presents the results of a cost-benefit analysis of the program. The findings and recommendations highlighted in the report will be of interest to funders, policymakers, and practitioners in other states who are considering transition interventions similar to the I-BEST model. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kazis, Richard; Liebowitz, Marty
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    In recent years, interest has grown in the role of community colleges in helping low-skill and low-income individuals advance out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency. In part, this interest is a reaction to the shortcomings of traditional workforce and adult education programs. It also reflects the impressive efforts of innovative community colleges to focus resources and leadership attention on strategies to improve postsecondary attainment, persistence, and program completion for lower-income working adults.

    MDRC’s Opening Doors to Earning Credentials project and its early reports echoed the conclusions of Norton Grubb, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and others regarding the potential of community colleges — that community colleges are the local educational institutions with the greatest potential for helping low-wage workers earn skills and credentials that lead to both educational and career advancement. At the same time, Opening Doors identified serious obstacles to realizing that potential, including the characteristics of the low-wage...

    In recent years, interest has grown in the role of community colleges in helping low-skill and low-income individuals advance out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency. In part, this interest is a reaction to the shortcomings of traditional workforce and adult education programs. It also reflects the impressive efforts of innovative community colleges to focus resources and leadership attention on strategies to improve postsecondary attainment, persistence, and program completion for lower-income working adults.

    MDRC’s Opening Doors to Earning Credentials project and its early reports echoed the conclusions of Norton Grubb, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and others regarding the potential of community colleges — that community colleges are the local educational institutions with the greatest potential for helping low-wage workers earn skills and credentials that lead to both educational and career advancement. At the same time, Opening Doors identified serious obstacles to realizing that potential, including the characteristics of the low-wage workforce, the institutional structure and priorities of most community colleges, and the external policy environment in which they operate.

    MDRC has identified three strategies that might enable colleges to be more effective in helping working adults obtain college credentials. These are: (1) financial incentives that can address the high cost of college for low-income individuals; (2) student supports that can help working adults cope with academic, personal, and other problems that often result in their dropping or stopping out; and (3) program and curricular innovations and redesign that can cope with the severe time constraints, skill needs, and job advancement hopes of working adults.

    MDRC asked Jobs for the Future to look at curricular and program redesign strategies being used in community colleges today to speed advancement from lower levels of skill into credential programs and to shorten the time commitment that earning a credential demands of students. This paper presents a framework for understanding the range of experimentation with program and class reformatting and redesign. It identifies programs that exemplify promising approaches. The paper concludes with issues and questions that MDRC will need to address in assessing whether to proceed with a research program focused on program redesign efforts geared to working adults’ needs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hollenbeck, Kevin
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2002

    This presentation provides an overview of a study into the net impacts of career technical education programs in Washington state. It also provides analysis of costs and benefits of post-secondary training at community and technical colleges.

    This presentation provides an overview of a study into the net impacts of career technical education programs in Washington state. It also provides analysis of costs and benefits of post-secondary training at community and technical colleges.

  • Individual Author: Schirm, Allen; Stuart, Elizabeth; McKie, Allison
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    From 1995 to 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Ford Foundation ran a demonstration of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP), mainly an after-school program that also began offering intensive and comprehensive services to at-risk youth when they entered ninth grade. QOP’s goals were to increase rates of high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education or training; secondary goals included improving high school grades and achievement test scores and reducing risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, crime, and teen parenting. This final report from Mathematica's random assignment evaluation presents impacts on outcomes measured when most sample members were 22 to 25 years old. Overall, QOP did not achieve its primary or secondary objectives, but the lack of overall impacts masks some suggestive evidence of promising effects for some sites and subgroups. (author abstract)

    From 1995 to 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Ford Foundation ran a demonstration of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP), mainly an after-school program that also began offering intensive and comprehensive services to at-risk youth when they entered ninth grade. QOP’s goals were to increase rates of high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary education or training; secondary goals included improving high school grades and achievement test scores and reducing risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, crime, and teen parenting. This final report from Mathematica's random assignment evaluation presents impacts on outcomes measured when most sample members were 22 to 25 years old. Overall, QOP did not achieve its primary or secondary objectives, but the lack of overall impacts masks some suggestive evidence of promising effects for some sites and subgroups. (author abstract)

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