New philosophies for developmental education

To approach developmental education, community colleges in the Philadelphia area are trying on new philosophies. Some institutions are phasing out developmental education, while others are using a co-requisite rather than a prerequisite approach. In other words, students who place just below the college-level are placed into the college courses, but with additional support. Another dimension is thinking about how students are evaluated in the first place, which includes a shift from more traditional testing considered by some to be an outdated approach.

Often believed to be a mostly community college issue, plenty of universities must also work with underprepared students and deliver developmental education. Temple University, for example, has anywhere from 5-6% of students in developmental mathematics and up to 20% in developmental English (including ESL students). Temple is also incorporating a co-requisite model in dev ed and making adjustments to how students are evaluated.



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