Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Developmental Education Reforms: MDRC Evaluation Research

Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Developmental Education Reforms: MDRC Evaluation Research

Article excerpt

In an effort to better inform the redesign/reform efforts initiated for developmental education- or more often for remedial courses-MDRC has undertaken research to examine the effectiveness of reforms. An article in Issue Focus has provided an overview of research conducted since 2011 on four areas of reform. Student outcomes as measured by various studies are summarized as follows

Building Skills and Aligning Content with Programs of Study

MDRC studied the New Mathways Project as implemented in Texas community college system. Study results reported that 20 Texas community colleges were offering one or more of three "pathway" mathematics courses with content aligned to programs of study: statistics/social sciences, quantitative reasoning /humanities, and algebra/ STEM related-programs. Results from nonexperimental studies of the model have suggested that students who followed the pathways curriculum had higher completion rates in college-level math. A study of the model using random assignment is currently underway.

Boosting Skills Before Students Enter College

A random assignment study of eight summer bridge programs, again in Texas, revealed a positive influence on success for students. The program provided learning opportunities between high school and college that were highly focused and used an accelerated curriculum. Although positive effecs faded at the end of 2 years, student participants in the program had higher pass rates in first college-level math and writing courses than the control group.

Speeding Students Progress Through Developmental Courses

MDRC research (case studies) in this reform area is reported on two math programs: one compressed and one modular. …

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