Bostian, Brad

Avoiding Remedial Education: Academic Effects on College Transfer Students.

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent and academic effects of remedial avoidance by transfer students. There has been little or no study of the degree to which two-year college students avoid required remedial coursework by transferring to a four-year institution. This study sought to determine the frequency and nature of that avoidance by following two cohorts from a large, multi campus urban/suburban community college to its neighboring suburban research university. Some avoidance was expected, but without significant differences by student characteristics. Academic effects consisted of course, program, and overall grades; progress and persistence toward

graduation; and degree completion rates. Since transfer students are already a highly selective group of successful students, no statistically significant academic success differences were expected between students who avoided remedial courses and those who didn't. Remedial avoidance was found, within the range predicted. Students who avoided remedial coursework differed by age and academic characteristics from other remedial transfer students at the community college. Propensity score matching was used to match remedial avoiders and takers. No statistically significant differences between these two groups were found in academic success variables measured at the transfer university.