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Education and Academic Support / College Readiness and Retention

ideas42 – A Practitioner’s Guide to Important Proven Behavioral Interventions in Post-Secondary Education

Ideas42 teaches leaders, policy makers, and practitioners about using behavioral science to help increase college matriculation and persistence among underserved youth. After working on 16 projects with 13 schools and post-secondary partners, ideas42 published a 2016 report that uncovered numerous subtle, often invisible, barriers that hinder students’ progress at each step of their journey to a degree. ideas42 then set about designing solutions to improve student outcomes from pre-admission to post-graduation.

In 2016, the foundation conceived of and funded a project to develop and widely disseminate a report that will present to practitioners:

  • A comprehensive synthesis of the important proven behavioral interventions in postsecondary education, with analyses of specific strategies that appear most successful overall, and within certain populations
  • A guide to supporting innovative practitioners in implementing effective behavioral nudge approaches in their settings.

The project will be run and the report developed by Dr. Ben Castleman and a team at ideas42. They will recruit practitioners from colleges, nonprofits, high schools, and state agencies interested in collaborating with the project leads and ideas42 associates on each chapter of the practitioner’s guide. The goal is to ground each chapter’s recommendations and guidance in a particular context—in essence, to work with practitioners to identify how they would implement the recommendation in their setting, and to translate their design and implementation considerations to the guide’s readers.