Eric.ed.gov – Evaluating the Impact of Remedial Education in Florida Community Colleges: A Quasi-Experimental Regression Discontinuity Design. NCPR Brief

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The conceptual foundation for remedial education is straightforward: students are tested to determine whether they meet a given level of academic proficiency for college-level classes. For those who do not meet this level, deficiencies in skills are addressed through some form of supplementary instruction, most often remedial courses. The study summarized in this Brief employs a quasi-experimental design to examine remedial enrollment and outcomes of community college students throughout the state of Florida. Results of the study suggest that as a means for addressing the needs of under-prepared students, remediation has both benefits and drawbacks. After controlling for noncompliance and endogenous sorting around the placement test cutoff score, students on the margin of requiring math remediation were slightly more likely to persist to their second year. Similarly, the impacts of both math and reading remediation were positive in terms of the total (remedial and college-level) credits earned over six years. However, no effect was found on total college-level (non-remedial) credits completed. The likelihood of passing subsequent college-level English composition was slightly lower for reading remedial students, while no difference was found in future math course performance for math remedial students. No discernible impact was found in terms of certificate or associate degree completion or transfer to a public four-year college. Overall, the results suggest that remediation might promote early persistence in college, but it does not necessarily help students who are on the margin of passing the cutoff make progress toward a degree. The report concludes that additional effort is needed to estimate the impact of remedial courses on weaker students who score far below the placement cutoff necessary to take college-level courses. More work is also needed on the effects of remediation relative to its costs. Future research should also focus on institutional policies and practices, as well as particular services and classroom strategies, in order to explore differences in the effects of remediation by college and by remediation program design. [Additional support for this research was provided by the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. The National Center for Postsecondary Research is a partnership of the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University; MDRC; the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia; and faculty at Harvard University. This Brief is based on an NCPR Working Paper titled “The Impact of Postsecondary Remediation Using a Regression Discontinuity Approach: Addressing Endogenous Sorting and Noncompliance.” For the full working paper, see ED501553.]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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