Islam, Rouse explore the relationship between the GED and college readiness, early post-secondary academic performance

The economics professors’ research is published in the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Tonmoy Islam, assistant professor of economics, and Katy Rouse, associate professor of economics, co-authored a paper published in the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy on the relationship between the General Educational Development (GED) degree, college readiness and early post-secondary (PSE) academic performance.

Tonmoy Islam and Katy Rouse smilingIn “College Readiness, Early Post-secondary Academic Performance and the GED Degree: Evidence from Kentucky,” the authors used detailed administrative data from Kentucky and focused on a sample of students who were identified as at-risk prior to high school entry.

“Our results suggest the GED credential is not a credible signal of PSE readiness, particularly in mathematics,” the authors write in the paper’s abstract. “GED graduates attain a lower first semester GPA and are also less likely to re-enroll in second semester courses. We also find that changes made to the GED exam in 2014 to enhance student readiness in PSE institutions did not yield meaningful improvements. Finally, we investigate the extent to which differences in math coursework can explain estimated GED-related math readiness gaps, finding coursework to account for about for about 40 percent of the observed gap.”

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy publishes papers that employ microeconomics to analyze issues in organizational economics, consumer behavior, and public policy.

Prior to joining Elon in 2014, Islam held roles as a short-term consultant at The World Bank and a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. His research interests are in labor and regional economics as well as economics of poverty and empirical microeconometrics.

Rouse joined Elon in 2009. She is an applied microeconomist with scholarship interests in the economics of education and health economics. She has authored several articles on the effects of schools switching from traditional to multi-track year-round calendars, which has attracted attention from a wide range of media outlets, including The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Wall Street Journal and WUNC North Carolina Public Radio.