Developmental or remedial coursework in reading, writing, and/or mathematics is a significant barrier for a majority of students at community colleges. These lengthy sequences — often required for college-level work — can be daunting, and many students leave college before completing their developmental requirements, let alone attaining a credential. Developmental math is a substantial stumbling block to college completion.
Carnegie’s Pathways instructional model addresses not just the structural and curricular problems of traditional developmental math courses, but also the substantial socio-emotional and psychological hurdles many students face. The courses are designed to challenge certain beliefs that many developmental math students share: that they are not “math people,” that “people like me don’t belong here,” and that the class is really not about or for them.
This practitioner packet is designed to help community college administrators implement reforms to developmental education at their colleges. It reviews common impediments to developmental reform and presents data that supports directions colleges can take to create a system of developmental education that might serve students more effectively.
From Innovation to Transformation tells the short story of how Texas community colleges decided to implement the New Mathways Project in every college in the state. The decision grew out of many years of collaboration among partners, statewide experimentation with developmental education redesign, and a maturation of student success initiatives and demonstration projects designed to help students succeed and advance toward degrees.
It is estimated that that nearly 60 percent of students enrolling in community college must take remedial classes to build their basic academic skills. For low-income students and students of color, the figure tops 90 percent at some colleges. MDC’s Developmental Education Initiative was a three-year effort to learn more about what policies, practices, and resources are needed to scale up community college programs that help underprepared students get on the credit-earning and completion track.
The growing crisis of students arriving at college unprepared to do college-level work has led to plenty of finger-pointing between high school and college educators. But two community colleges have learned that better collaboration with local high schools may be the best way to dramatically reduce the number of students who fall into the quagmire of remedial coursework.
Achieving the Dream, with the support of The Kresge Foundation, this evening announced South Texas College (STC) as the winner of the fifth annual Leah Meyer Austin Award. Along with this prestigious recognition, the college will receive $25,000 to support its ongoing student success work. As this year’s award-winner, STC is being honored for demonstrating systemic institutional changes that have resulted in a noteworthy increase in student success.
Higher education has always been a pathway to opportunity. For generations of Americans of all backgrounds, an education beyond high school has led to upward mobility in our society. This role for higher education is more important today than ever before.
Less than 25 percent of college students who take any developmental education courses earn a credential within eight years. Over the past three years, the six states in the Developmental Education Initiative have developed and enacted unprecedented changes in policy and practice in an effort to improve outcomes in developmental classes.
Even as colleges invest tremendously in higher education reform, including improving student success rates, there has been little opportunity to hear from the most directly impacted stakeholder group- the students. This report, based on student focus group data from 161 current and former community college students in four states, presents the viewpoint of students in relation to their education goals and college experience.
For years, colleges have used placement exams to determine whether to deem incoming students “college ready” or assign them to developmental education. But emerging information reveals the tests have little correlation to students’ future success, casting doubt on their use even as the high stakes for students of taking remedial courses become clear. Educators are rethinking whether the tests are fair and wondering if their traditional use constitutes a barrier to college completion. This report explores these issues.
McALLEN – Achieving the Dream, with the support of The Kresge Foundation, this evening announced South Texas College as the winner of the fifth annual Leah Meyer Austin Award. Along with the recognition, the college will receive $25,000 to support its ongoing student success work.
As this year’s award-winner, STC is being honored for demonstrating systemic institutional changes that have resulted in a noteworthy increase in student success.
Community colleges across the country have created innovative, data-informed programs that are models for educating underprepared students, engaging traditionally underserved students, and helping students from all backgrounds succeed. However, because most of these programs have limited scope, the field now has pockets of success rather than widespread improvement. Turning these many small accomplishments into broad achievement — and improved completion rates — depends on bringing effective programs to scale.
As states build more robust data systems for improving student outcomes, there is a need for a common approach to interpret the data. This report describes a set of key indicators of community college student progression and completion benchmarks intended for practitioners and policymakers to use in their reform efforts to increase student achievement. Developed by the Achieving the Dream Cross-State Data Work Group, the final benchmarks, plus interim indicators, enable states and institutions to track student progress toward college completion.
Last August, President Obama challenged the nation and American higher education to produce 8 million more college graduates by 2020, listing this as “the single most important step we can take” to ensure the nation succeeds in the 21st century. For their part, community colleges were asked to increase the number of associate degrees and certificates they award by 5 million, making these institutions responsible for over 60 percent of the graduates needed to reach the goal.
In this issue: New Jersey’s Big Ideas Project Integrates Many Achieving the Dream Strategies; Achieving the Dream and Developmental Education Initiative States Receive Federal Funds to Support Workforce Development; Adult Basic Education Alignment in Indiana.
Our nation can only meet its ambitious college completion goals if students who start in developmental education succeed. Virginia—like nearly every state and, indeed, many countries—has therefore turned its attention to helping more students prepare more effectively and efficiently for college-level work.
Substantive and innovative policy changes designed to help students succeed in developmental education are underway in the six states involved with the Developmental Education Initiative (DEI), even in the face of challenging economic times.
This study opens with a brief on Florida's developmental education policies, as seen from the perspective of state administrators, college leaders and college staff. The policy brief is supported by case studies on the practices of three community colleges in Florida that were particularly successful in serving students in need of developmental math, compared to other colleges in the state during the years 2002 to 2008. The brief analyzes how those colleges' strategies and practices interact with state policy.
Developmental education courses are designed for enrollees who are underprepared for college-level work. These courses are also referred to as college-prep, transitional, and foundational education on some campuses. Colleges generally offer courses in math, reading, and writing. Colleges may offer up to three levels of remediation before students are eligible for college-level coursework. Schools included in this section are: Aiken Technical College, The Alamo Colleges, Houston Community College, Lee College, Montgomery County Community College, North Central State College, Roxbury Community College, Westmoreland County Community College, Zane State College, and Martin Community College.
A significant redesign of remedial education—how it is organized, delivered, and taught—is required if the nation’s community colleges are to achieve more than incremental progress in increasing student success. The vast majority of our nation’s community colleges need substantial ongoing supports to do so.
A majority of community college students enroll in developmental education (Bailey, Jeong, & Cho, 2010), but evidence of its effectiveness in promoting student progression and degree completion is mixed.
For most entering community college students, an assessment center is one of the first places they will visit on campus to take exams testing their proficiency in math, reading, and sometimes writing. According to advice the College Board provides to such students, “You can not ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ the placement tests, but it is very important that you do your very best on these tests so that you will have an accurate measure of your academic skills.”
There is mounting evidence that following the traditional sequence of developmental education courses is hindering community college students from progressing to college-level coursework and ultimately earning a credential. The Community College Research Center conducted an analysis of Achieving the Dream data and found that only 31% of students referred to developmental math and 44% of students referred to developmental reading completed the recommended sequence of courses within three years (Bailey, Jeong, & Cho, 2008).