How Community Colleges Address Basic Needs and Financial Stability of Low-Income Students to Boost College Completion: Lessons from the Working Students Success Network

The Working Students Success Network (WSSN) is a consortium of 19 community colleges in Arkansas, California, Virginia, and Washington. This innovative strategy seeks
to support colleges as they create pathways and provide integrated services to improve students’ academic, employment, and financial stability in the short term, while laying a foundation for long-term economic success. The colleges were charged with addressing low-income students’ widespread needs by offering group-based and more intensive, one-on-one services in three pillars. 

As this was major expansion of an integrated service delivery approach in community colleges, the goal of the evaluation was to describe how WSSN was implemented and identify outcomes that might be associated with participation. The research revealed factors that may lead to success and tradeoffs colleges may face in meeting students’ needs.

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