Across community colleges in Tennessee, more than 70% of incoming students require developmental education; however, only 46.5% complete remediation and fewer (12.6%) graduate within three years’ time. To address low graduation rates, the state has eliminated traditional remediation and implemented a co-requisite model. Students considered underprepared will start with introductory courses in math and English, and a learning support course to help students strengthen their academic skills.
Past pilots of the co-requisite approach in Tennessee have yielded positive results. Underprepared students passed courses in statistics, quantitative reasoning, and English more frequently than in the traditional model at Austin Peay State University and nine other community colleges. Despite these results, concerns over using this approach linger. Director of the National Center for Developmental Education, Dr. Hunter Boylan, voiced concerns that it is unclear whether the learning support class will help the most underprepared or first-generation college students, and further cautioned the use of a seemingly one-size-fits-all model, stating that sustaining such a system will be no easy task.