INNOVATIVE THINKING
RIGOROUS APPROACHES
REAL WORLD IMPACT

 

Project

Implementation Study of a Pre-College Math Program in Tennessee

Official Title
Tennessee Study of Pre-college Math Remediation Programs
Location(s)
Tennessee
Dates
1/2015 – 6/2016
Market
Education Practice Areas
Practice Areas
College Readiness
STEM
Services
Process Evaluations
Client
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Sub To
Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University

IMPAQ reviewed the implementation of the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program in Tennessee. The program addresses the need for some students to take non-credit-bearing remedial courses in college, which adds time and expense to their postsecondary experience and discourages them from staying in college. By moving the remedial courses to the senior year of high school, SAILS has the potential to help more students who are taking advantage of Tennessee Promise, which covers two years of tuition and fees at in-state community colleges.

Our study helped state-level and local stakeholders understand how the program operates in locales throughout Tennessee and make any necessary improvements. It also gives context to an impact study Harvard is conducting, exploring key implementation factors such as:

  • Teacher selection,
  • Student assignment to SAILS classrooms,
  • Classroom curriculum,
  • Student response,
  • Technology usage, and
  • Support of SAILS by field coordinators.

Data collection focused on site visits that included classroom observations, principal interviews, teacher interviews, student focus groups, and telephone interviews with representatives of the local community college partner and SAILS field coordinators.

To complete this project effectively, our staff relied on their experiences as classroom teachers and as qualitative researchers and their work with high school to college transitions, mathematics teaching and learning, and implementation research in urban and rural school settings.