Community College Research Initiatives

October 22, 2019

TAACCCT Meta-Analysis

The Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant represented an unprecedented investment by the federal government in integrated postsecondary education and workforce training offered primarily by community and technical colleges. Between 2011 and 2018, 256 grants totaling nearly $2 billion were awarded through four rounds of competitive grants. Ultimately, 630 community colleges were represented in the overall group of 729 colleges and universities funded by TAACCCT, with community colleges making up 85 percent of all postsecondary institutions securing these grants (Cohen, 2017). More than any time in their over 100 years of existence, the TAACCCT grant spotlighted the critical role of community colleges in responding to economic downturns and preparing workers for a future in which postsecondary education and credentials are a necessity.

A recent brief published by CCRI researchers Grant Blume, Elizabeth Meza and Debra Bragg, presents results of a meta-analysis of quasi-experimental design (QED) evaluation studies to estimate the average effects of TAACCCT grants on four student outcomes: program completion, credential attainment, post-training employment, and pre- to post-training wage change. Complementing emerging evidence on TAACCCT reported by the Urban Institute (see Cohen et al., 2017; Durham et al., 2017; Eyster, Cohen, Mikelson, & Durham, 2017; and Durham, Eyster, Mikelson, & Cohen, 2017) and forthcoming results from ABT Associates’ national impact evaluation, we hope this brief contributes to a fuller understanding of the impact of TAACCCT on the outcomes of student participants, many of whom enrolled in community colleges to master skills needed to secure living-wage jobs in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Read the Brief