Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Remedial Coursetaking among Students at Public 2- and 4-year Institutions

About 68 percent of students entering two-year colleges and 40 percent of those entering four-year colleges took at least one remedial class between 2003 and 2009, according to a new statistical analysis report released today (Sept. 6).

The report was published by the National Center for Education Statistics, in the Institute of Education Sciences, and provides a descriptive analysis of beginning postsecondary students’ coursetaking spanning the six years between 2003 and 2009. It documents the scope, intensity, timing, and completion of remedial courses (sometimes known as development education classes) and its association with various postsecondary outcomes among students who began at public 2 and 4 year institutions. The analysis uses nationally representative data from the 2004/09 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:04/09) and its associated 2009 Postsecondary Education Transcript Study (PETS:09).

Main findings include:

• About half (49 percent) of remedial coursetakers beginning at public 2-year institutions and 59 percent of those beginning at public 4-year institutions completed all the remedial courses in which they had enrolled;

• Remedial course completers demonstrated better postsecondary outcomes than did remedial course noncompleters in terms of earning college-level English and math credits, persisting through college, accumulating college-level credits, and attaining a bachelor’s degree; and

• Not all remedial completers experienced favorable outcomes once other factors were taken into account. The positive associations between remedial course completion and various postsecondary outcomes were observed for students with weak academic preparation prior to college, as measured by High School GPA, highest math course, and admissions test scores. However, the same positive outcomes were not observed in moderately or strongly prepared students.

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