Teachers College, Columbia University

Better Together? The Effect of Co-requisite Remediation in Tennessee Community Colleges

Date and Time: March 23, 2019 10:15–11:45 a.m.
Location: Kansas City, MO
Venue: Kansas City Marriott Downtown

Millions of students arrive at higher education institutions, especially community colleges, only to find out that they cannot take credit-bearing, college-level classes right away. About 60 percent of entering community college students are referred to remedial education, and just 34 percent of these students obtain a credential within six years. There is mounting empirical evidence to suggest that traditional remediation delays and diverts students from taking college-level courses; and it is often ineffective at improving academic outcomes for underprepared students.

In light of these results, many states and colleges implement co-requisite remediation, which allows entering students who need additional help to take developmental- and college-level courses at the same time. In this presentation, we provided new evidence of the effect of co-requisite remediation using administrative data from the 13 community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). To estimate the causal impact of co-requisite remediation, we use a regression discontinuity-difference-in-difference (RD-DID) design, exploiting the variation of co-requisite implementation timeline across colleges. We find that co-requisite is significantly more effective in terms of gateway completion in comparison to pre-requisite remediation, but there are null effects for longer-term outcomes such as enrollment persistence and three-year credential completion. Implications of co-requisite reform will also be discussed during the presentation.

Associated Papers


Research Affiliate
Community College Research Center