A September 2016 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Remedial Coursetaking at U.S. Public 2 and 4-year Institutions: Scope, Experience, and Outcomes, draws on quantitative national data from 2003-2006 to analyze the correlations between student completion of remedial coursework and positive postsecondary outcomes at 2 and 4-year institutions.
The report found that remedial completion was associated with positive secondary outcomes. However, partial remedial completers performed just as well as nonremedial students, and students who had difficulty completing a sequence of remedial courses did not persist in college. Although the report does not draw conclusions from this data, the data supports research in Basic Writing (Fox, Glau, Rose, Soliday) that shows that tracking students into a sequence of non-credit bearing remedial courses can have unintended negative effects on persistence.
The report argues that more research into barriers caused by remedial courses is needed, and that current studies of remediation have shown mixed results. However, the report fails to cite the extensive research in Basic Writing on the problems with tracking students into non-credit bearing remedial courses and the positive outcomes associated with the many alternative forms of academic support structures for underrepresented students emerging in the field of Basic Writing, such as accelerated learning models, studio models, and stretch courses.
The full report can be found at: