"How Effective Are Community College Remedial Math Courses for Students with the Lowest Math Skills?"
Assistant Professor Di Xu and Mina Dadgar has published in Community College Review: "How Effective Are Community College Remedial Math Courses for Students with the Lowest Math Skills?"
This article examines the effectiveness of remediation for community college students who are identified as having the lowest skills in math. Method: We use transcript data from a state community college system and take advantage of a regression discontinuity design that compares statistically identical students who are assigned to the lowest level of the math sequence that consists of three remedial courses versus the next lowest level that consists of two courses. Results: The results suggest that for the students with the lowest preparation in math, the longest developmental sequence offers little benefit and may even reduce the likelihood of earning a degree to certificate within 4 years. This study is one of the first attempts to compare the academic outcomes of students assigned to long sequence of developmental math education to students with similar academic skills but assigned to shorter developmental math sequence. Results from this study can therefore help inform the national effort in reforming remedial education, especially in terms of whether shortening the long remedial sequence would either benefit or harm the academic outcomes of students who are least prepared for college-level coursework.
Xu, D., & Dadgar, M. (2018). How effective Are community college remedial math courses for students with the lowest math skills? Community College Review, 46(1), 62-81