Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Remedial courses fail bachelor's degree seekers, but boost those in associate's programs

Date:
April 7, 2014
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
Taking remedial courses may not help students earn their bachelor's degrees, but the classes can help students at two-year colleges earn associate's degrees, according to a new study. The role of remedial education has been under scrutiny for years, viewed as an essential tool in efforts to raise rates of degree completion. At the same time, critics question whether the courses are appropriate for institutions of higher education.

Taking remedial courses at the four-year college level may hold students back from earning their bachelor's degrees, but at the community college level remedial education can help earn an associate's degree, according to researchers from Boston College's Lynch School of Education.

The role of remedial education has been under scrutiny for years, viewed as an essential tool in efforts to raise rates of degree completion. At the same time, critics question whether the courses are appropriate for institutions of higher education.

The answer may not be so simple, according to Lynch School researcher Katherine A. Shields and Associate Professor of Education Laura M. O'Dwyer, who reviewed a federal database of interviews and academic transcript data from more than 10,000 students at 670 two- and four-year institutions.

At four-year colleges, students who took three or more remedial courses struggled to attain a bachelor's degree when compared to similar peers who took no remedial courses, according to the researchers, who presented their findings today at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Among students at two-year colleges, taking developmental education courses was associated with better odds of earning an associate's degree but no higher within six years of enrollment, Shields and O'Dwyer discovered, drawing on data collected from college students between 2004 and 2009.

When the researchers looked at the relationship of taking remedial courses to the chances of two-year college students ultimately earning a bachelor's degree, the potential benefits of the courses disappeared. Taking three or more remedial courses at the two-year college level was negatively associated with attaining a bachelor's degree, they found. Developmental education may divert them from transferring to complete a higher degree.

In addition, the results of remedial courses varied from one two-year institution to another, which may reflect the diversity of new developmental course models arising during the period of the study, according to O'Dwyer, a specialist in educational research, measurement, and evaluation.

Shields said the results show that remedial education at the two-year level is not a hindrance in the same way as it seems to be at the four-year level, but researchers need to delve into which types of programs are the most effective and why.

"We need further investigation of the ingredients for success at those colleges where taking developmental coursework doesn't hold students back from finishing an associate's degree," Shields said. "Are there institutional policies that do a better job of matching students to courses? Are innovations in developmental curriculum paying off? The picture looks a lot more complex than in the four-year setting."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston College. "Remedial courses fail bachelor's degree seekers, but boost those in associate's programs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090729.htm>.
Boston College. (2014, April 7). Remedial courses fail bachelor's degree seekers, but boost those in associate's programs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090729.htm
Boston College. "Remedial courses fail bachelor's degree seekers, but boost those in associate's programs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407090729.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream?

Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream?

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) Dustin Moskovitz is plotting an escape from email, using his communications expertise in an attempt to change the way people connect at work, where the incessant drumbeat of email has become an excruciating annoyance. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Emory Prepares to Treat American Ebola Cases

Emory Prepares to Treat American Ebola Cases

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) Plans are underway to bring back the two American aid workers sick with Ebola from Africa. The U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are helping to arrange the evacuation. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) Greenpeace's ship Arctic Sunrise, held in custody by the Russian authorities since September last year, has departed the Russian city of Murmansk en route for its home port of Amsterdam. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct

US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) U.S. employers extended their hiring surge into July by adding a solid 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are gradually shedding the caution that had marked the 5-year-old recovery. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins