IMPAQ reviewed the implementation of the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program in Tennessee. The program addresses the need for some students to take non-credit-bearing remedial courses in college, which adds time and expense to their postsecondary experience and discourages them from staying in college. By moving the remedial courses to the senior year of high school, SAILS has the potential to help more students who are taking advantage of Tennessee Promise, which covers two years of tuition and fees at in-state community colleges.
Our study helped state-level and local stakeholders understand how the program operates in locales throughout Tennessee and make any necessary improvements. It also gives context to an impact study Harvard is conducting, exploring key implementation factors such as:
Data collection focused on site visits that included classroom observations, principal interviews, teacher interviews, student focus groups, and telephone interviews with representatives of the local community college partner and SAILS field coordinators.
To complete this project effectively, our staff relied on their experiences as classroom teachers and as qualitative researchers and their work with high school to college transitions, mathematics teaching and learning, and implementation research in urban and rural school settings.