*Names in bold indicate Presenter
In my research, I address this gap in the literature by examining the peer effects that result from combing remedial and college-level students into the same college-level course. Using a statewide cutoff on the placement examination used to assign students to remedial courses, combined with longitudinal student and course-level data from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, I am able to evaluate the effects of mainstreamed math courses for multiple cohorts of students with widely differing levels of academic preparation. Austin Peay is a particularly important institution for such an evaluation after it received national attention for eliminating its developmental math courses in the fall of 2008 and quickly became a model for other institutions interested in remedial course acceleration. In this paper, I evaluate the subsequent academic and enrollment/ degree attainment effects for two groups of students: those assigned to college-level math and those who would have previously been assigned to remedial math but are now enrolled in college-level math. As such, I identify the effects of peers whom these students encounter when enrolling in mainstreamed math courses using a difference-in-differences and a regression discontinuity research design. The preliminary results suggest that mainstreaming remedial and college-level math courses affects students differently depending on their incoming level of academic skill. These effects further differ when considering student subgroups.
The results of my analysis provide insight into the extent to which mainstreaming affects both higher and lower achieving students, thus informing administrators and policymakers as to which students are likely to be helped and which are likely to be hindered by the elimination of remedial math courses.