Promising Results of MDRC Evaluation of LaGuardia’s GED Bridge to College and Careers Programs

Since 2007, LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC) has worked to redesign its approach to high school equivalency preparation by providing contextualized, career-focused GED bridge classes that integrate basic skills instruction with occupational content to prepare adult learners to pass the GED exam and transition more effectively to postsecondary education and training or the workforce.

MDRC conducted a random assignment evaluation of LAGCC’s GED Bridge to College and Careers programs, the results of which were released last week.  Preliminary evidence strongly supports LAGCC’s redesigned, contextualized approach.  One year after enrolling in LAGCC’s GED Bridge to Health and Business programs, the bridge program students were significantly more likely to have completed the course, passed the GED exam, and enrolled in college than students in the traditional GED preparation course.  The bridge students also persisted from the first to the second semester of college at higher rates than their counterparts in the traditional GED prep course.

Vanessa Martin, a Senior Associate with MDRC who oversaw the LAGCC GED Bridge Program evaluation, presented this past week at the 2013 National Meeting for Adult Education State Directors, highlighting the key characteristics of LAGCC’s approach and the impressive results of the MDRC evaluation.  Amy Dalsimer, Director of Pre-College Academic Programming at LAGCC, and several of her LAGCC colleagues, also hosted a mini-institute for other adult educators from across the country on designing and implementing contextualized instruction programs for adult learners.

OVAE also recently highlighted LAGCC’s Bridge to College and Careers programs in the first event of its 2013 Community College Webinar Series, which focused on transforming adult education to better prepare adult learners to transition to postsecondary education and training.  If you missed the live event, you can access the recorded webinar and presentation slides here.