Program Areas | College and Career Access and Success

Arkansas Community Colleges: Evaluation of the College Count$ Initiative

In 2015, Metis was retained by Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC) to conduct an evaluation of the Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) to determine what student success, social impacts, and/or economic benefits result to the individual (and the state) from an investment of federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) dollars. CPI is administered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education at 25 community colleges across the state and provides case management, education, and training to low-income parents to prepare them for employment in higher-wage industries by helping them acquire certificates and degrees. Using a propensity score matching (PSM) procedure, Metis identified similar groups of college students and TANF recipients to which we could compare CPI participants. Analyses comparing CPI participant outcomes to those of the matched comparison students showed that the program had positive impacts on academic and economic issues, as well as a positive return on investment (ROI) to individuals and the state (for more information about the ROI analysis, see)