Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Improving the Transition to College: Estimating the Impact of High School Transition Courses on Short-Term College Outcomes

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 2:05 PM
Tuttle Center (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Lara Pheatt1, Madeline Trimble2 and Elisabeth Barnett2, (1)Columbia University, (2)Community College Research Center
In recent years, transition courses have garnered considerable interest as one way of improving student’s academic transition to college and reducing the need for remediation in a cost-effective manner. Transition courses are courses delivered during students’ senior year of high school to help students who are not college ready in math and English become college ready in these subjects by the end of their senior year. Though popular, the effectiveness of these courses is not well studied. This paper uses regression discontinuity and difference-in-differences to estimate the impact of mathematics transition course participation from a statewide implementation on initial college readiness and passing a gatekeeper course in the first year of college. Our preliminary findings suggest math transition course participation had a negative impact on students' early college math outcomes.