CAPR Link Roundup: Hope, Research, and Data

Here are some additional resources about remedial ed. If you have any thoughts on the research or additional studies worth noting, send us a message on Twitter at @CAPR_deved.

HOPE Lab Meta-analysis on Placement

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab did a meta-analysis of studies on the effects of dev ed placement and found substantial negative impacts on students. Compared with similar students placed into college-level courses, dev ed students earned fewer college credits, were less likely to pass their first college-level course in the subject, and were less likely to earn a certificate or degree. The effects were stronger for university students than for community college students, and stronger for reading and writing than for math.

Educational Researcher

Di Xu, a CCRC affiliate and assistant professor at UC Irvine, writes about the impact of remedial courses on students assigned to the lowest level of multisemester developmental sequences in Virginia in the December issue of Educational Researcher.

“Lower-level developmental course work in both subjects shows a significant negative impact on 1st-year retention rate, where taking lower-level reading versus higher-level reading increases the probability of dropping out of college within the 1st year by 13 percentage points,” Xu writes. “Similarly, taking lower-level writing developmental course work versus higher level increases the 1st-year dropout rate by 19 percentage points.”

Stay tuned for more from Xu on her research in the coming months here on the CAPR blog.

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and Guided Pathways

Two “branded” approaches to improving outcomes for community college students are receiving significant publicity: ASAP—a specific model which has been rigorously shown to nearly double graduation rates, and guided pathways—a promising approach to institution-wide reform. This brief by the City University of New York (CUNY) and MDRC explores the commonalities and differences between these programs, including their differing approaches to addressing students’ developmental education needs.

Hechinger Report Looks for the Data

Finally, The Hechinger Report recently took a hard look at the data on more than half a million students in dev ed in 2014–15 in 44 states.

“Data from 911 two- and four-year colleges revealed that 96 percent of schools enrolled students who required remediation in the 2014–15 academic year, the most comprehensive recent numbers. At least 209 schools placed more than half of incoming students in at least one remedial course,” Sarah Butrymowicz writes.

In a related story, Butrymowicz discusses the difficulty of finding the numbers.