Postsecondary Access & Success

Hurwitz, M., Mbekeani, P. P., Nipson, M., & Page, L. C. (2016). Surprising Ripple Effects: How Changing the SAT Score-Sending Policy for Low-Income Students Impacts College Access and Success. Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Subtle policy adjustments can induce relatively large “ripple effects.” We evaluate a College Board initiative that increased the number of free SAT score reports available to low-income students and changed the time horizon for using these score reports. Using a difference-in-differences analytic strategy, we estimate that targeted students were roughly 10 percentage points more likely to send eight or more reports. The policy improved on-time college attendance and 6-year bachelor’s completion by about 2 percentage points. Impacts were realized primarily by students who were competitive candidates for 4-year college admission. The bachelor’s completion impacts are larger than would be expected based on the number of students driven by the policy change to enroll in college and to shift into more selective colleges. The unexplained portion of the completion effects may result from improvements in nonacademic fit between students and the postsecondary institutions in which they enroll.

(2015). SDP College-Going Diagnostic for Wake County Public School System . Strategic Data Project.Abstract

In 2011, the Strategic Data Project (SDP) began a partnership with the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). As part of this partnership, SDP collaborated with WCPSS to analyze patterns of high school students’ on-track status, graduation, college enrollment, and college persistence. This set of high-leverage, policy-relevant analyses constitutes the SDP College-Going Diagnostic.

Upcoming Event Focuses on College Going in Kentucky

August 17, 2015

(Frankfort, KY) – On Monday, August 17, the Kentucky Department of Education, in partnership with the Strategic Data Project (an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University), 55,000 Degrees, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and Jefferson Co. Schools will hold a news briefing and discussion on college going in Kentucky.... Read more about Upcoming Event Focuses on College Going in Kentucky

(2015). SDP College-Going Diagnostic for Kentucky . Strategic Data Project, Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Strategic Data Project (SDP) and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) collaborated on the SDP College-Going Diagnostic—a set of policy-relevant analyses that track Kentucky public school students’ graduation from high school through enrollment and persistence in college. This interactive report highlights the key findings from this research collaboration and is designed to facilitate exploration across important student characteristics.

(2015). Research Project Overview: The Study of Pre-College Math Remediation Programs in Tennessee . Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.Abstract

In an effort to promote college enrollment and degree completion, the state of Tennessee has invested a student-centric, technology-based blended learning model of high school mathematics instruction, The Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS).

The SAILS program provides high school seniors likely to require math remediation in college with coursework equivalent to college-level developmental education classes. Eligible students who complete the program are able to satisfy math require-ments for high school graduation and, upon postsecondary matriculation, to enroll directly in credit-bearing coursework toward a college degree.

Researchers at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education are partnering with the SAILS Program and Tennessee state leadership to conduct an evaluation of SAILS. Using a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the study will examine the impact of participation in SAILS on students’ short- and long-term outcomes and investigate the mechanisms by which the program may promote students’ postsecondary success.

(2013). SDP Toolkit for Effective Data Use . Strategic Data Project. Learn more and download [SDP website]Abstract

The SDP Toolkit for Effective Data Use is a resource guide for education agency analysts who collect and analyze data on student achievement. Completing the toolkit produces a set of basic, yet essential, human capital and college-going analyses that every education agency should have as a foundation to inform strategic management and policy decisions.

Angela Boatman

Angela Boatman

Affiliated Researcher
Associate Professor of Higher Education
Boston College, Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education
2015 Jul 14

SDP Institute for Leadership in Analytics

Tue Jul 14 (All day) to Fri Jul 17 (All day)


Cambridge, MA

The SDP Institute for Leadership in Analytics is a four-day data workshop for education analysts who want to leverage data to inform decision making and improve student achievement. The curriculum provides a foundation or refresher course on problem analysis, technical methods, program evaluation, and data visualization and communication techniques. Hands-on activities, including computer lab sessions, demonstrate how to gain key insights around priority topics such as teacher effectiveness or college-going success. Participants need not be an expert in statistical programming, though a basic understanding is recommended (e.g., Stata, SAS, R, SPSS).
Learn more about the SDP Institute