Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020


Developmental mathematics, which is designed to prepare students for college-level mathematics courses, can be a barrier to students’ success. In the United States, the majority of students placed into developmental mathematics courses fail to complete the developmental sequence. Alternative mathematics pathways offer some benefits when integrated with “just-in- time support” or expedited instruction on specific prerequisite concepts needed solely for the current lesson. This study compares two statistics courses taught at a public community college: a complete course taught in one semester and a two-semester version with just-in-time developmental content integrated into the course. The study found that students placed into the one-semester statistics course accumulated significantly more credits after one and two years of college. These students also completed an associate’s degree within two years at a significantly higher rate than students placed into the two-semester statistics course. The study also found students deemed non-proficient by the college’s placement exam, who also had a strong high school average were significantly more likely to earn a grade of A- or higher or a grade of B- or higher compared to students originally deemed proficient.


This work was originally published in the Journal of Mathematics at Teachers College.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits the user to copy, distribute, and transmit the work provided that the original authors and source are credited.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.