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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2017211 Participation in Kentucky's college preparatory transition courses: An update
Kentucky offers college preparatory transition courses in mathematics, reading, and English to grade 12 students. These courses are designed as one possible intervention for students who have not met Kentucky's college readiness benchmarks on the ACT in grade 11. This study uses descriptive statistics to update previous REL Appalachia research about participation in these courses for the 2014/15 school year. Data are disaggregated by student and school characteristics. In 2014/15, the approximately half of grade 12 students needed an intervention to prepare them for college in mathematics (53 percent), reading (50 percent), or English (40 percent). Nearly two-thirds of Kentucky high schools offered transition courses as an intervention option, and such courses were more common in small, rural, and low-performing high schools. Statewide, more than twice as many students enrolled in mathematics transition courses than in English language arts transition courses (22 and 10 percent, respectively). Of students who had not met college readiness benchmarks, approximately 40 percent participated in mathematics transition courses and approximately 20 percent participated in English language arts transition courses. Some additional students who had already met state benchmarks also participated in the courses.
1/4/2017
WWC PQ1123 Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education-A Practice Guide for College and University Administrators, Advisors, and Faculty
Students academically underprepared for college need comprehensive, integrated, and long-lasting supports to be successful in persisting and completing their college degrees. This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide, Strategies for Postsecondary Students in Developmental Education – A Practice Guide for College and University Administrators, Advisors, and Faculty, includes evidence-based recommendations that college and university administrators, advisors, and faculty can use to improve the success of students placed into, or at-risk of placement into developmental education. Developed by a panel of experts, the strategies in this guide focus on ways to improve students' progress through developmental education, credit accumulation and persistence, academic achievement, and degree attainment. The practice guide offers specific examples and suggestions for implementing the recommendations in colleges and universities, highlights obstacles to implementation that educators might face, and identifies suggested implementation approaches.
11/29/2016
REL 2017203 Investigating Developmental and college-level course enrollment and passing before and after Florida's developmental education reform
Beginning with 2014 fall semester, developmental education in Florida was made optional for most students. This report compares enrollment and passing rates in developmental reading, writing, and mathematics courses as well as gateway English and mathematics courses for a cohort of first-time-in-college students in fall 2014 to three cohorts of students in the fall semesters prior to 2014. Compared to prior semesters, once developmental education became optional fewer students enrolled in developmental education courses. Passing rates for developmental education courses in reading, writing, and math increased an average of 2.0 percentage points over fall 2013. More students enrolled in gateway (entry-level, college-credit bearing) courses. Gateway course passing rates declined compared to previous years, with the largest declines occurring in intermediate algebra. The proportion of the first-time-in-college fall cohort students passing a gateway course increased compared to previous years.
10/26/2016
WWC IRTP664 ACT/SAT Test Preparation and Coaching Programs Transition to College
ACT and SAT test preparation and coaching programs are designed to increase students' scores on college entrance exams. These programs familiarize students with the format of the test, introduce test-taking strategies, and provide practice with the types of problems that may be included on the tests. The WWC reviewed the research on ACT and SAT test preparation and coaching programs and found that they have positive effects on general academic achievement for high school students.
10/4/2016
REL 2016169 A guide to developing and evaluating a college readiness screener
This guide describes core ideas for colleges to consider when developing a screening tool for estimating college readiness. A key focal point within the guide is a discussion of ways to improve how well a screening tool can identify individuals needing remedial or developmental education along with key considerations that a user or developer of such a tool must address. Specifically, the following steps are discussed:
1.Creating an operational definition of success and college readiness
2.Selecting potential predictors of college readiness
3.Prioritizing types of classification error
4.Collecting and organizing the necessary data
5.Developing predictive models
6.Evaluating the screening results and selecting the final model
9/7/2016
REL 2016184 Stated Briefly: Ramping up to college readiness in Minnesota high schools: Implementation of a schoolwide program
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. This study examined whether the Ramp-Up to Readiness program (Ramp-Up) differs from college readiness supports that are typically offered by high schools, whether high schools were able to implement Ramp-Up to Readiness to the developer's satisfaction, and how staff in schools implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness perceive the program. The researchers conducted interviews and focus groups with staff in two groups of schools: (1) a group of 10 schools that were in the first year of implementation of Ramp-Up to Readiness, and (2) a group of 10 other schools that were not implementing the program. The researchers also administered surveys to staff employed by these 20 schools as well as to students in grades 10-12 in these schools. Through these data collection efforts, the researchers obtained information on the types of college readiness programming and supports in the two types of schools, students' perceptions of college-focused staff-student interactions, schools' success at implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness’ core components and sub-components, and the opinions of staff in implementing schools about the program. Compared with non-Ramp-Up schools, those implementing Ramp-Up offered more college-oriented structural supports, professional development, and student-staff interactions. Ramp-Up schools also made greater use of postsecondary planning tools. Students in Ramp-Up schools perceived more emphasis on four of five dimensions of college readiness than students in comparison schools. Ramp-Up schools met the program developer’s threshold for adequate implementation on four of five program components (structural supports, professional development, curriculum delivery, and curriculum content). However only 2 of the 10 schools met the developer’s adequacy threshold for the other component (use of postsecondary planning tools). Staff at Ramp-Up schools generally had favorable perceptions of the program. Schools that implement Ramp-Up were able to offer deeper college readiness support to more students than comparison schools. Schools that adopt Ramp-Up can implement the program as intended by the program developer, but some program components are more challenging to implement than others. Additional studies should be performed to examine whether implementation improves after a second year of implementation and whether Ramp-Up improves the likelihood that students will enroll and succeed in college.
9/6/2016
REL 2016146 Ramping up for college readiness in Minnesota high schools: Implementation of a schoolwide program
This study examined whether the Ramp-Up to Readiness program (Ramp-Up) differs from college readiness supports that are typically offered by high schools, whether high schools were able to implement Ramp-Up to Readiness to the developer's satisfaction, and how staff in schools implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness perceive the program. The researchers conducted interviews and focus groups with staff in two groups of schools: (1) a group of 10 schools that were in the first year of implementation of Ramp-Up to Readiness, and (2) a group of 10 other schools that were not implementing the program. The researchers also administered surveys to staff employed by these 20 schools as well as to students in grades 10–12 in these schools. Through these data collection efforts, the researchers obtained information on the types of college readiness programming and supports in the two types of schools, students' perceptions of college-focused staff-student interactions, schools' success at implementing Ramp-Up to Readiness' core components and sub-components, and the opinions of staff in implementing schools about the program. Compared with non-Ramp-Up schools, those implementing Ramp-Up offered more college-oriented structural supports, professional development, and student-staff interactions. Ramp-Up schools also made greater use of postsecondary planning tools. Students in Ramp-Up schools perceived more emphasis on four of five dimensions of college readiness than students in comparison schools. Ramp-Up schools met the program developer's threshold for adequate implementation on four of five program components (structural supports, professional development, curriculum delivery, and curriculum content). However only 2 of the 10 schools met the developer's adequacy threshold for the other component (use of postsecondary planning tools). Staff at Ramp-Up schools generally had favorable perceptions of the program. Schools that implement Ramp-Up were able to offer deeper college readiness support to more students than comparison schools. Schools that adopt Ramp-Up can implement the program as intended by the program developer, but some program components are more challenging to implement than others. Additional studies should be performed to examine whether implementation improves after a second year of implementation and whether Ramp-Up improves the likelihood that students will enroll and succeed in college.
6/28/2016
NCES 2016144 The Condition of Education 2016
NCES has a mandate to report to Congress on the condition of education by June 1 of each year. The Condition of Education 2016 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2016 report presents 43 key indicators on the status and condition of education and are grouped under four main areas: (1) population characteristics, (2) participation in education, (3) elementary and secondary education, and (4) postsecondary education. Also included in the report are 3 Spotlight indicators that provide a more in-depth look at some of the data.
5/26/2016
REL 2016123 Developmental education and college readiness at the University of Alaska
This study examines the postsecondary readiness of first-time students who enrolled in the University of Alaska system over a four-year period. The study calculates the proportion of students considered academically underprepared for college and how placement rates for developmental education (that is, non–credit-bearing courses) vary for different groups of students. The study also determines the proportion of students placed in developmental education who eventually enrolled in and passed college English and math. Finally, the analysis looks at whether high school grades, rather than exam performance, are a better predictor of success in college-level courses.

Results show that developmental education rates were higher in math than English for students pursuing any degree type and increased as the gap between high school exit and college entry grew. Among students pursuing a bachelor's degree, developmental placement rates were highest for Black students from urban areas of the state (in math) and Alaska Native students from rural areas (in English) compared to all other student groups. Almost half (47 percent) of students placed in developmental courses eventually passed college English and almost a quarter (23 percent) passed college math. For students who enrolled directly in college, high school grade point average was a stronger predictor of college-level English and math performance than were SAT, ACT, and ACCUPLACER scores. Secondary and postsecondary stakeholders can use the findings to help identify students in need of support to be college-ready and to consider further conversation and additional research regarding whether and how to use high school grade point average as part of the placement process.
5/17/2016
REL 2016134 Stated Briefly: Can scores on an interim high school reading assessment accurately predict low performance on college readiness exams?
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which performance on Florida's interim reading assessment could be used to identify students who may not perform well on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and ACT Plan. Data included the 2013/14 PSAT/NMSQT or ACT Plan results for students in grade 10 from two districts, as well as their grade 9 results on the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading—Florida Standards (FAIR-FS). PSAT/NMSQT Critical Reading performance is best predicted in the study sample by a student's reading comprehension skills, while PSAT/NMSQT Mathematics and Writing performance is best predicted by a student's syntactic knowledge. Syntactic knowledge is the most important predictor of ACT Plan English, Reading, and Science in the study sample, whereas reading comprehension skills were found to best predict ACT Plan Mathematics results. Sensitivity rates ranged from 81 percent to 89 percent correct across all of the models. These results provide preliminary evidence that FAIR-FS scores could be used to create an early warning system for performance on both the PSAT/NMSQT and ACT Plan.
5/3/2016
REL 2016124 Can scores on an interim high school reading assessment accurately predict low performance on college readiness exams?
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between measures of reading comprehension, decoding, and language with college-ready performance. This research was motivated by leaders in two Florida school districts interested in the extent to which performance on Florida’s interim reading assessment could be used to identify students who may not perform well on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and ACT Plan. One of the districts primarily administers the PSAT/NMSQT and the other primarily administers the ACT Plan. Data included the 2013/14 PSAT/NMSQT or ACT Plan results for students in grade 10 from these districts, as well as their grade 9 results on the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading – Florida Standards (FAIR-FS). Classification and regression tree (CART) analyses formed the framework for an early warning system of risk for each PSAT/NMSQT and ACT Plan subject-area assessment. PSAT/NMSQT Critical Reading performance is best predicted in the study sample by a student’s reading comprehension skills, while PSAT/NMSQT Mathematics and Writing performance is best predicted by a student’s syntactic knowledge. Syntactic knowledge is the most important predictor of ACT Plan English, Reading, and Science in the study sample, whereas reading comprehension skills were found to best predict ACT Plan Mathematics results. Sensitivity rates (the percentage of students correctly identified as at risk) ranged from 81 percent to 89 percent correct across all of the CART models. These results provide preliminary evidence that FAIR-FS scores could be used to create an early warning system for performance on both the PSAT/NMSQT and ACT Plan. The potential success of using FAIR-FS scores as an early warning system could enable districts to identify at-risk students without adding additional testing burden, time away from instruction, or additional cost. The analyses should be replicated statewide to verify the stability of the models and the generalizability of the results to the larger Florida student population.
4/20/2016
REL 2015078 Who will succeed and who will struggle? Predicting early college success with Indiana’s Student Information System
This study examined whether data on Indiana high school students, their high schools, and the Indiana public colleges and universities in which they enroll predict their academic success during the first two years in college. The researchers obtained student-level, school-level, and university-related data from Indiana's state longitudinal data system on the 68,802 students who graduated high school in 2010. For the 32,564 graduates who first entered a public 2-year or 4-year college, the researchers examined their success during the first two years of college using four indicators of success: (1) enrolling in only nonremedial courses, (2) completion of all attempted credits, (3) persistence to the second year of college, and (4) an aggregation of the other three indicators. HLM was used to predict students' performance on indicators using students' high school data, information about their high schools and information about the colleges they first attended. Half of Indiana 2010 high school graduates who enrolled in a public Indiana college were successful by all indicators of success. College success differed by student demographic and academic characteristics, by the type of college a student first entered, and by the indicator of college success used. Academic preparation in high school predicted all indicators of college success, and student absences in high school predicted two individual indicators of college success and a composite of college success indicators. While statistical relationships were found, the predictors collectively only predicted less than 35 percent of the variance. The predictors from this study can be used to identify students who will likely struggle in college, but there will likely be false positive (and false negative) identifications. Additional research is needed to identify other predictors--possibly non-cognitive predictors--that can improve the accuracy of the identification models.
3/31/2015
REL 2015060 Stated Briefly: Participation and Pass Rates for College Preparatory Transition Courses in Kentucky
This study examines Kentucky high school students' participation and pass rates in college preparatory transition courses, voluntary remedial courses in math and reading offered to grade 12 students. These courses are targeted to students scoring just below the state’s college readiness benchmarks on the ACT in grade 11. The study found that: participation was nearly four times higher in math transition courses than in reading transition courses; more than half of students who participated in a math transition course were from the targeted group, compared with about a third of students who participated in a reading transition course; overall pass rates were 93 percent in math and 97 percent in reading; and participation was at least three times higher in nonurban schools than in urban schools. This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name (REL 2014–009).
1/6/2015
REL 2014042 The College Readiness Data Catalog Tool: User Guide
The College Readiness Data Catalog Tool and User Guide enable states, districts and other educational entities to assess the presence of college readiness indicators in extant data sets and identify gaps that may present challenges in developing future indicator systems. The College Readiness Data Catalog tool is a flexible Excel workbook that provides a shell for organizing and tracking student data relevant for measuring college readiness. The user guide also includes a sample data catalog summary report and a template for a data catalog summary report. Created by REL Northeast and Islands for the US Virgin Islands College and Career Readiness Research Alliance, the tool may be used by any educational organization to determine whether it has sufficient data to study college readiness indicators.
9/24/2014
REL 2014009 Participation and Pass Rates for College Preparatory Transition Courses in Kentucky
The purpose of this study was to examine Kentucky high school students' participation and pass rates in college preparatory transition courses, which are voluntary remedial courses in math and reading offered to grade 12 students in the state. Three groups of students were compared using the population of grade 12 students in Kentucky public schools in school year 2011/12 (n=33,928): students meeting state benchmarks, students approaching state benchmarks (1 to 3 points below), and students performing below state benchmarks (4 or more points below). The courses targeted students who were approaching state benchmarks, but all students were eligible to take them. Results were examined for member school districts of the Southeast/South-Central Educational Cooperative (a research partner with Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia), a matched comparison group of districts with similar characteristics identified through propensity score matching, and the state as a whole. The study found that most students, even those targeted for the intervention, did not participate in the college preparatory transition courses. Among students who were approaching state benchmarks in math, fewer than one-third (28.1 percent) took transition courses, and among students approaching state benchmarks in reading, fewer than one-tenth (8.0 percent) enrolled in transition courses. Despite the intention of the policy, students from all three groups (meeting, approaching, and below state benchmarks) enrolled in the courses. Statewide pass rates for students who did enroll in transition courses in math or reading were more than 90 percent. Examining participation and pass rates can help schools and districts understand how college preparatory transition courses are used and may be adapted to meet the needs of students targeted for intervention.
3/4/2014
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