Starting in Fall 2015, Tennessee public colleges and universities stopped offering stand-alone remedial courses in English and Math.
Instead, students who don’t meet college readiness criteria enroll in college-level courses with additional support.
The Tennessee Board of Regents released a report of outcomes from the first semester of statewide, full-scale implementation. It showed that completion of college-level courses doubled in English and quadrupled in math, in half the time of traditional remediation.
Tennessee is unique in offering corequisite models to even the lowest-scoring students. This decision runs counter to a common perception that corequisites are appropriate only for higher-scoring students and that weaker students would be better served by longer developmental course sequences.
The report includes completion data disaggregated by students’ scores on the ACT placement test. In both English and math, low-scoring students had lower completion rates than higher scoring students. However, they were far better off in corequisite models than in traditional remediation. In math, for example, the lowest-scoring students were 18 times more likely to complete college math, with completion increasing from 2.1% to 37.5%.
Additionally, achievement gaps narrowed as students of color and low-income students saw the largest gains in corequisite models. While completion of college math was four times higher overall for the corequisite approach, minority students’ completion was six times higher than in traditional remediation, increasing from 6.7% to 42.6% statewide.
Before implementing corequisites statewide, Tennessee conducted a piloted of corequisite models at a subset of colleges. Examining student outcomes a year later, they found that in addition to being more likely to complete college-level courses, pilot students earned more credits and were much more likely to stay in college from one fall to the next.