WWC review of this study

Evaluation of Los Angeles City College's STEM Pathways program: Impacts of the Supplemental Instruction program on student outcomes

Caspary, K., Milby, A., Sosina, V., Wei, X., & Goetz, R. (2021). SRI International. https://collegecareerpathways.org/publications/evaluation-of-los-angeles-city-colleges-stem-pathways-program-impacts-of-the-supplemental-instruction-program-on-student-outcomes/.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    2,177
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: June 2023

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Postsecondary Academic Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Course Pass Y/N

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Fall 2017 data;
399 students

0.87

0.72

Yes

 
 
50
 

Course Pass Y/N

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Fall 2018 data;
396 students

0.82

0.72

Yes

 
 
47
 

Course Pass Y/N

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Spring 2018 data;
475 students

0.89

0.76

Yes

 
 
42
 

Course Pass Y/N

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Fall 2019 data;
433 students

0.81

0.73

Yes

 
 
36
 

Course Pass Y/N

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Spring 2019 data;
474 students

0.75

0.63

Yes

 
 
33
 

Course grade

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Spring 2018 data;
475 students

2.88

2.33

Yes

 
 
10

Course grade

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Spring 2019 data;
474 students

2.48

1.97

Yes

 
 
8

Course grade

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Fall 2018 data;
396 students

2.52

2.20

Yes

 
 
7

Course grade

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Fall 2019 data;
433 students

2.49

2.15

Yes

 
 
5

Course grade

STEM Pathways (STEMP) program vs. Business as usual

0 Semesters

Fall 2017 data;
399 students

2.56

2.27

Yes

 
 
0


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 39%
    Male: 61%

  • Urban
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    California
  • Race
    Asian
    22%
    Black
    5%
    White
    74%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    48%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    53%
  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Other or unknown    
    100%

Setting

The study occurred in Los Angeles City College (LACC), a 2-year Hispanic-Serving Institution.

Study sample

The majority of the sample was non-Hispanic (53%), White (74%), and male (61%). About one-fifth of the sample was Asian (22%). Almost half (48%) were Pell Grant recipients.

Intervention Group

The intervention consisted of the provision of supplemental instruction/tutoring (SI) provided through Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). SI sessions were led by a peer who already succeeded in the course they were supporting. PASS leaders/students were responsible for attending all class sessions and completing coursework. The PASS leader was also expected to model strong academic habits, including note-taking, active listening, and test preparation. They also completed all assignments in the course and modeled effective study strategies such as active listening. PASS leaders scheduled regular (at least weekly) sessions to support students enrolled in the course. Sample activities for PASS sessions included reviewing concepts discussed in class, completing practice problems, and preparing for exams. Courses included math (Math240 and above), chemistry, biology, physics, and computer science.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition was business as usual. All students at LACC who were enrolled in focal STEM courses had access to the usual supports for students taking introductory and higher level STEM courses.

Support for implementation

PASS leaders/students and the instructors teaching the courses offering SI (also known as SI faculty) were each asked to participate in an initial orientation to the program. Throughout the semester, SI faculty were expected to share curricular resources with SI leaders, and to check in as needed to discuss how to support students.

 

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