Education Lab, Poverty Lab Developmental Education

For open-access institutions like community colleges that enroll incoming students with varying levels of college preparedness, remedial courses can be an effective tool in leveling the playing field before students enroll in credit-bearing courses. Development courses can help nurture competency in a subject area and bolster student success in subsequent coursework. However, when unnecessary they can delay graduation and present an additional financial barrier to attaining a degree. Whether remedial courses positively influence student outcomes largely hinges on identifying the right students for enrollment. Urban Labs is using data collected by the City Colleges of Chicago to develop a predictive tool that will help determine which incoming students would most benefit from enrolling in a remedial course. This tool can supplement City Colleges’ current strategy for identifying students for remedial course enrollment. Building off similar work with the City University of New York, Urban Labs will use a supervised learning method to predict both need for and enrollment in remedial courses at City Colleges. We will assess its performance by looking at outcomes such as passing a college-level course, credit accumulation, and degree attainment.