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Early Intervention in College Classes and Improved Student Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • John Gordanier

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • William Hauk

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • Chandini Sankaran

    () (Boston College)

Abstract

This research investigates the effectiveness of an early academic intervention in Principles of Economics courses at a large public university. After the end of the fourth week of classes, students who fell below a 70% threshold on a performance measure, or had an attendance rate below 75%, were referred to the university’s Student Success Center for additional academic support. A referral consisted of students being given optional assistance in course specific skills through tutoring, as well as training in general skills like time management and study skills. Using a regression discontinuity framework at the referral threshold, we find that the performance intervention improved student scores on common questions on the final exam by 6.5 to 7.5 percentage points for students at or near the performance threshold. The gains are particularly large for students who entered college with below average math placement scores. These results indicate that low-cost light-touch interventions may significantly affect student academic performance.

Suggested Citation

  • John Gordanier & William Hauk & Chandini Sankaran, 2018. "Early Intervention in College Classes and Improved Student Outcomes," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 956, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:956
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    college education; student academic performance; intervention; economic education;

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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