Seminario "The Effects of Remedial Math on Student Outcomes: Evidence from an Open-Access Higher Education Institution in Chile using Regression Discontinuity Design"


Autores: Matías Fresard, Susana Claro, Angela Boatman, Ricardo Paredes y Jenna K. Webber
Presenta: Matías Fresard.
Abstract: For countries concerned about equity and access to higher education, providing remedial courses for academically underprepared students is an essential endeavor. Remedial courses provide opportunities to students who might not otherwise succeed in college-level work to enter in higher education and develop an important skill set in their initial semester of enrollment. In this way, remedial courses provide access to students whose earlier academic experiences might otherwise have been a barrier to entry. However, for all of the potential bene fits of college remediation, additional required coursework may increase students' financial and academic burden and may contribute to drop out. To date, much of the research on the effects of college remedial coursework has been focused in the United States. Our study takes advantage of a unique administrative dataset to examine the effects of enrollment in remedial courses on student outcomes in an international context. Using data on students attending one of the largest vocational education postsecondary institutions in Chile, we attempt to isolate the effects of taking an additional semester-long remedial course in the first semester on subsequent grades in college-level math by comparing students who were required to take the course to those who just barely passed the placement exam and, thus, did not have to enroll in corequisite remediation. Exploiting an institutional cutoff score on the placement examination used to assign students to remedial math courses, we employ a Regression Discontinuity (RD) research design to provide causal estimates of the effects of the remedial courses on the subsequent academic outcomes of students placed in math remediation. However, unlike prior research, we have the particular advantage that all students in our sample take the same courses at the same time, with enrollment in remedial math being the only difference among students of the same academic major. This allows us to better understand the true effects of remedial courses on subsequent course grades, as there is little variation within majors in the courses students take in the Chilean campus in our study. We focus on the effects of taking a remedial math course in the first semester on grades in the next college-level math course, and student persistence to the second year. We ask the following question: Does participation in a remedial math course improve course performance in the next course for students at the margins of passing the placement test?
Fecha: Viernes 8 de Marzo del 2019.
Horario: de 13:00 a 14:00 horas.
Sala: 1605
Confirmar asistencia con Pamela Fuentes (pamfuent@fen.uchile.cl) hasta el jueves 7 de marzo.

Datos del Evento

Fecha de inicio:
08 de Marzo, 2019 | 13:00 hrs.

Fecha de término
08 de Marzo, 2019 | 14:00 hrs.