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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.

Writing a paper? Working on a literature review? Citing research in a funding proposal? Use the SSRC Citation Assistance Tool to compile citations.

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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: Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn; Sommo, Colleen; Welbeck, Rashida
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Many adult students struggle to finance their educations, often contending with work and child care expenses in addition to the extra cost of remedial courses. Moreover, there is little need-based grant aid to help. This report presents early findings from an evaluation of a program in New York City targeted to low-income adults (ages 22 to 35) who need remedial course work. Part of MDRC’s national Performance-Based Scholarship (PBS) Demonstration, the program operated at Borough of Manhattan Community College and Hostos Community College, both part of the City University of New York, in 2008 and 2009. Participating students were eligible for either a $1,300 scholarship for two consecutive semesters (totaling up to $2,600) or for $1,300 for each of those semesters and one summer term (totaling up to $3,900), if they maintained at least part-time enrollment, met attendance benchmarks, and earned at least a “C” average across six credits of courses. Scholarships were paid directly to students in increments and did not supplant other aid for which students qualified.

    ...

    Many adult students struggle to finance their educations, often contending with work and child care expenses in addition to the extra cost of remedial courses. Moreover, there is little need-based grant aid to help. This report presents early findings from an evaluation of a program in New York City targeted to low-income adults (ages 22 to 35) who need remedial course work. Part of MDRC’s national Performance-Based Scholarship (PBS) Demonstration, the program operated at Borough of Manhattan Community College and Hostos Community College, both part of the City University of New York, in 2008 and 2009. Participating students were eligible for either a $1,300 scholarship for two consecutive semesters (totaling up to $2,600) or for $1,300 for each of those semesters and one summer term (totaling up to $3,900), if they maintained at least part-time enrollment, met attendance benchmarks, and earned at least a “C” average across six credits of courses. Scholarships were paid directly to students in increments and did not supplant other aid for which students qualified.

    This innovative program, along with those in five other states in the PBS Demonstration, builds on lessons from MDRC’s Opening Doors Demonstration in Louisiana, which led to higher rates of persistence and credit accumulation. The Louisiana program offered performance-based scholarships to low-income parents for two semesters; counselors met with students periodically and disbursed the scholarships. Unlike the Louisiana program, the New York PBS program did not include counseling and focused on adult students needing remediation.

    The PBS evaluation randomly assigned approximately 1,500 low-income students to one of two program groups eligible to receive up to either $2,600 or $3,900 in scholarships, or to a control group eligible only for usual financial aid. Comparing outcomes of the combined program groups with control group outcomes measures the impact of the scholarship program. Comparing outcomes for the two program groups speaks to the relative importance of additional funding for summer attendance. Early analyses of student transcripts for about 60 percent of the total sample suggest that the program. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Comings, John P.; Cuban, Sondra; Bos, Johannes; Taylor, Catherine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Learning to read and write is a serious challenge for adult students, many of whom enter literacy programs with low skills, special learning needs, or negative past experiences in school. Adult responsibilities make it especially challenging for these students to persist in a literacy program long enough to make meaningful progress toward reaching their literacy goals.

    Launched in 1999 and funded by the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds, the Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA) initiative is aimed at helping literacy programs at public libraries across the country implement strategies to improve persistence among adult students. These strategies aim to make program attendance easier by offering child care, transportation, and expanded hours of operation. Instructional priorities include making program instruction more engaging and relevant by adapting curricula (often designed for children) to adult interests and needs, improving teacher and tutor training, and identifying potential barriers to persistence at program entry.

    As part of...

    Learning to read and write is a serious challenge for adult students, many of whom enter literacy programs with low skills, special learning needs, or negative past experiences in school. Adult responsibilities make it especially challenging for these students to persist in a literacy program long enough to make meaningful progress toward reaching their literacy goals.

    Launched in 1999 and funded by the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds, the Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA) initiative is aimed at helping literacy programs at public libraries across the country implement strategies to improve persistence among adult students. These strategies aim to make program attendance easier by offering child care, transportation, and expanded hours of operation. Instructional priorities include making program instruction more engaging and relevant by adapting curricula (often designed for children) to adult interests and needs, improving teacher and tutor training, and identifying potential barriers to persistence at program entry.

    As part of the LILAA initiative, in 2000 MDRC and the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) began a three-year study of the implementation and effectiveness of strategies to increase student persistence in the adult literacy programs of five public libraries: Redwood City Public Library and Oakland Public Library in California, New York Public Library and Queens Borough Public Library in New York City, and Greensboro Public Library in North Carolina. Researchers are (1) collecting and analyzing data on demographic characteristics, program retention, hours spent in literacy activities, and student goals; and (2) studying students' experiences in the programs by conducting extensive ethnographic interviews, observations of classes and tutoring sessions, and focus groups.

    This report describes the design of the LILAA persistence study, the strategies that participating libraries are using to increase student persistence, and emerging implementation issues. It describes existing patterns in student persistence, identifies factors that support or inhibit persistence, and begins to explore the relationship between program strategies and persistence... (author abstract)