A recent study found that community college students earn degrees quicker and increase their earnings if they get extra help in credit-bearing courses rather than taking remedial courses.
The seven-year study, conducted by scholars at Trinity College in Connecticut and the City University of New York, tracked more than 900 community college students starting in fall 2013. Students were randomly assigned to one of two options: a remedial algebra class or a credit-bearing statistics course with extra academic supports.
The study, published in the journal Educational Researcher in November, found that students in the corequisite math class—a college-level math course that included academic support—were 50 percent more likely to earn an associate degree within three years and twice as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree in four years compared to students in remedial courses.
Of the students who took the corequisite statistics course, 26 percent finished an associate degree three years into the study, compared to about 18 percent of remedial algebra students. Five years into the study, 14 percent of statistics students earned a bachelor’s degree compared to 7 percent of remedial algebra students.
Students in the corequisite course also earned $3,000 to $4,500 more per year on average because they graduated earlier.
“Corequisite coursework allows students to enter college as full members of the college community with the support they need to succeed,” Daniel J. Douglas, director of social science research and lecturer in sociology at Trinity College, said in a news release from Trinity Tuesday.