Over the past decade, behavioral scientists working in postsecondary education have developed a wide range of innovative interventions that hold the promise to improve student outcomes. Until now, they had never been captured in one place in a way that made them easy to understand or implement, creating a degree of inaccessibility that impeded their adoption.
We funded and helped develop, in collaboration with the Nudge4 Solutions Lab at the University of Virginia and ideas42, a free online guide that takes proven behavioral science techniques and makes them accessible to educators working to get students to and through college.
Our funding of the Lab included the development and dissemination of Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions, a free online guide and print booklet that provides a comprehensive synthesis of the most important evidence-based behavioral science interventions in postsecondary education, with analyses of specific strategies that appear most successful overall and within certain populations. We distributed Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions at the National College Access Network (NCAN) National Conference, which 20,000 professionals attended.
In 2022 we expanded our support to Nudge4 in a multi-year project with ideas42 to focus on the college enrollment crises and to seek to highlight any approaches that have been found to be effective at engaging students, as well as those approaches that have not been found to be effective. The project will include convening a combination of behavioral scientists and innovative practitioners from both colleges and college success nonprofits for a series of design-focused working groups. Through these sessions, the goal is to identify the most promising innovations that could be implemented and rigorously tested in as rapid-cycle fashion as possible. Finally, the team will develop a dissemination strategy to promote broad awareness of these design concepts among college access and success practitioners.