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Carolyn:

You may want to contact Hunter Boylan at the National Center for
Developmental Education for the specific research citations; however, at
NADE in Biloxi he reported that research supports the position that
mandatory assessment and mandatory placement result in improved
opportunities for students to be successful.  Additionally, controlling
the courses that a student takes, ie, not allowing a student who scores
low in reading to take reading intensive courses such as Econ, Math,
History, etc, also improves the liklihood of student success.  I think
this translates to limiting student participation in a prescribed number
of predetermined courses for the first semester or even for the the
first year.  Barbara Bonham or D. Saxon at the Center would also be good
sources.

The NCDE's homepage is http://www.ncde.appstate.edu/ and their phones
are (828) 262-3057        fax (828) 262-2128.

There is a body of literature out there that supports the "freshman
year" experience approach but that may not be exactly what you are after
if I hear you correctly.

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Ronald D. Illingworth
Associate Professor
Academic Program Head
Center for Distance Education and Independent Learning
University of Alaska Fairbanks
P.O. Box 756700
Fairbanks, AK  99775
WP 907-474-5890
Fax 907-474-5561
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http://www.dist-ed.uaf.edu/people/illingworth/