Remediation costs, programs, and results: A micro -financial analysis of an urban community college

Richard Edward Nugent Hasselbach, Fordham University


The instant study is a quantitative analysis of college finance and organization that relates cost, programs, and staffing arrangements for remedial and non-remedial students to academic outcomes, using the case of an urban community college in the Northeast United States. The study covers the 1996–1997 and 1997–1998 academic years. The study attempts to show the complex relationship between how a public institution spends its scarce resources, the way it organizes its work and employs its staff, and the effects these factors have on client groups. Five questions are treated in this study: (1) What are the costs associated with the remedial and non-remedial courses offered to various categories of students—as a proportion of other spending at the college on such functions as regular academic (non-remedial) programs, administration, operations, and institutional support? (2) What are the programmatic opportunities offered to remedial students as related to the level and extent of their remedial need? (3) What is the staffing associated with remedial and non-remedial courses, and how do these staffing arrangements affect costs and productivity? (4) What are the demographic and academic characteristics of the students both at the time they enroll at the college as first-time freshmen and as they progress during their enrollment? (5) What are the results of spending, programs, and staffing that have affected the academic outcomes of remedial students during the 1996–1998 period under study? The findings indicate that estimates in the literature of the cost of remedial education nationwide are significantly lower than the cost of remediation at the institution under study. The study also suggests that the more experienced teachers (those who are full-time, tenured members of the faculty) gravitate to teaching the department's smaller, six-credit courses leaving the adjunct faculty to teach the larger three-credit college-level courses.

Subject Area

School administration|Community colleges|School finance

Recommended Citation

Hasselbach, Richard Edward Nugent, "Remediation costs, programs, and results: A micro -financial analysis of an urban community college" (1999). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9947861.