Evaluation of the Single Mothers Success Design Challenge

Project Overview

Education Design Lab administers the Single Moms Success Design Challenge, which supports community colleges as they develop and pilot innovative solutions to improve completion rates for single mothers through intentional targeting of their unique needs. Four regionally accredited, public community colleges designed, launched, and tested scalable interventions to improve degree attainment rates for this population. Each institution has a goal of improving degree attainment by 30 percent by 2024 for between 6,000 and 8,000 single mothers.

Insight’s evaluation will assess the design and outcomes of each intervention. We will develop logic models and detailed descriptions of the target population, eligibility criteria, sample size requirements, and the evaluation strategy. Research questions will include—

  • Are the prototypes evaluable? What is needed to improve inference? What is the best evaluation design to assess fidelity, treatment contrast, and impact?
  • Did the program operate as intended?
  • Do the implemented program features and student use represent a substantially different experience from the status quo?
  • What is the impact on student outcomes such as semester-to-semester retention and progress to degree?

Insight’s activities include—

  • Conduct a document review to establish comprehensive understanding of each intervention.
  • Collaborate with the institutions to develop logic models and identify intervention components for refinement through continuous improvement approach.
  • Collaborate with the institutions as they implement Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles to refine the design of their interventions before the evaluation.
  • Develop a draft pilot evaluation plan based on each final intervention model.


Final report on institutions’ PDSA cycle and potential implications; design memorandum of each intervention and proposed evaluation strategy