Rooted in psychology, developmental education, or “dev ed” for short, is focused on helping students considered underprepared for college-level coursework in subjects such as reading, writing, and mathematics. Practice and research in dev ed promote cognitive and affective growth among students, and provide students with knowledge and skills that can reach beyond the classroom.
Dev ed has been a facet of postsecondary education for hundreds of years in its many forms. The field has become better known in recent years amid criticism and debate over its effectiveness and related policies. Dev ed is also referred to as remediation or remedial education.