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ERIC Number: ED546852
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 64
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
Trends in Achievement Gaps in First-Year College Courses for Racial/Ethnic, Income, and Gender Subgroups: A 12-Year Study. ACT Research Report Series 2013 (8)
Lorah, Julie; Ndum, Edwin
ACT, Inc.
Prior research has demonstrated gaps in the academic success of college student subgroups defined by race/ethnicity, income, and gender. We studied trends over time in the success of students in these subgroups in particular first-year college courses: English Composition I, College Algebra, social science courses, and Biology. The study is based on course grade data for 1998 through 2009 from over 330,000 students enrolled in 101 colleges. Success in a course was defined as obtaining either a B or higher grade or a C or higher grade in the courses. Achievement gaps were defined as differences in probabilities of success among student subgroups, after controlling for high school grade point average (GPA) and ACT® College Readiness Assessment scores. Female students outperformed male students in all of the first-year credit-bearing college courses used in the study, with the largest differences being observed in English Composition I and College Algebra. From 1998 to 2009, however, the gender achievement gap narrowed in English Composition I and Biology. Students from low-income families were less likely to succeed in all four courses, and income gaps in English Composition I and social science courses increased over time. Gaps for African American students and Hispanic students were observed in English Composition I, social science courses, and Biology, but not in College Algebra. Racial/ethnic achievement gaps expanded over the twelve years in the social science courses, but the gap between African Americans students and White students in Biology narrowed over time. Two appendices provide: (1) Technical Details of Multilevel Logistic Regression Models; and (2) Multilevel Logistic Regression Models.
ACT, Inc. 500 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168. Tel: 319-337-1270; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: ACT, Inc.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment