Connecting College Students to Alternative Sources of Support: The Single Stop Community College Initiative and Postsecondary Outcomes
Apr 29, 2020
Single Stop's College Initiative aims to address the nonacademic needs of college students, connecting them to governmental, community, and institutional resources that can help to overcome financial barriers and other life issues that lead many students to drop out before completing a credential. This report examines the impact of using Single Stop on postsecondary outcomes for students enrolled at four community colleges in North Carolina.
Community college students in the United States face major challenges with college completion. Low-income students experience particularly high rates of dropout, and there are a wide range of nonacademic issues that act as barriers for low-income students. The goal of Single Stop's College Initiative is to offer a "one-stop shop" that connects students to nonacademic resources that may help them address many of the challenges they face. When college students enter the Single Stop office, staff assess the students' needs and provide them with case management support that aims to connect them with existing governmental, institutional, and community resources through benefits screenings and referrals.
For this report, the authors examined the impact of using Single Stop on postsecondary outcomes for students enrolled between spring 2016 and fall 2016 at four community colleges in North Carolina. The outcomes of interest are persistence (continued enrollment, transfer, or completion), credits attempted, and credits earned. Overall, the findings suggest that Single Stop does have the potential to offer benefits to students. Across the four colleges, there was an increase of 1.1 credits earned by Single Stop users with one year of Single Stop use. The authors did not find an overall statistically significant impact on persistence rates across the four colleges, though there were positive impacts on persistence for independent students. There was wide variation in findings across the four colleges.