ERIC Number: EJ1044540
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
The Impact of Taking a College Pre-Calculus Course on Students' College Calculus Performance
Sonnert, Gerhard; Sadler, Philip M.
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v45 n8 p1188-1207 2014
Poor performance on placement exams keeps many US students who pursue a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) career from enrolling directly in college calculus. Instead, they must take a pre-calculus course that aims to better prepare them for later calculus coursework. In the USA, enrollment in pre-calculus courses in two- and four-year colleges continues to grow, and these courses are well-populated with students who already took pre-calculus in high school. We examine student performance in college calculus, using regression discontinuity to estimate the effects of taking college pre-calculus or not, in a national US sample of 5507 students at 132 institutions. We find that students who take college pre-calculus do not earn higher calculus grades.
Descriptors: Calculus, College Mathematics, Mathematics Achievement, College Students, Outcomes of Education, Regression (Statistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: 0813702