Reforming Developmental Education: Evidence from Texas
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This panel will discuss efforts in Texas to improve outcomes for students who are identified as needing developmental education. Because all of the studies take place in Texas, the chair will begin by providing contextual information about the state’s developmental reform efforts to frame the discussion. Then the authors will present each of the following studies on interventions, and we will conclude with our discussant, the Deputy Director of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), discussing how the studies have affected policy debates and decisions.
Study one:, Math in the Real World: Early Findings from a Study of the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways, examines this accelerated developmental math sequence which provides for three college-level math pathways — statistics; quantitative reasoning; and a path to calculus for STEM majors, qualitatively describing the program, examining fidelity of implementation, and measuring impact using a randomized control trial (RCT).
Study two, An Experimental Evaluation of a Computer-Assisted, Modular Approach to Developmental Math, looks at the impact of ModMath, modularized developmental education courses that combine computer adaptive instruction and personal instructional support using an RCT.
Study three, Accelerating Students into College-Level Coursework: Approaches of Community Colleges to Texas State Policy around Co-Requisite Support Models, uses qualitative analysis to examine the implementation of a 2013-14 policy requiring colleges to develop models of acceleration into college-level coursework on writing. The study describes the range of approaches by colleges, facilitators and barriers to implementation, and cost effectiveness.
Study four, Identifying Student-Level Factors Associated with Success in Accelerated Models of Developmental Education: A Regression Discontinuity Approach, examines the use of acceleration with support, placing students who would typically be placed in developmental education into college level courses in math and English using a regression discontinuity design.
Study five, Course Completion and Persistence in Community College: The Role of Instructor Support, wraps up our look at reforming developmental education in Texas by using descriptive data to consider possible future lines of intervention and more rigorous inquiry. Using a survey of 825 first year Texas students who qualify for remedial coursework to explore the instructional supports students receive and how that relates to positive outcomes such as continued enrollment in college.