Although the State of Florida has seen dismal results following a state-mandated change making developmental education optional, some of the state’s two-year colleges have turned to creativity. One of these colleges, St. Petersburg College, created its own measurement tool to be used when determining whether students need remediation. Yet another, Indian River State College, has put new measures in place to increase students’ success in remediation, with positive results. One of the college’s approaches was offering three sections of developmental math that use a modular approach; this strategy has also seen a nearly 91% success rate.
As the number of students needing developmental education rose in Florida, legislators looked to policy for a solution. The policy, which went into effect in 2014, made developmental education optional; students referred to dev ed could skip dev ed and enroll in college-level coursework immediately. Preliminary results indicate that the policy, while successful in reducing the percentage of students enrolling in dev ed, has led to poor performance among underprepared students.
At St. Petersburg College, students who enrolled in college courses despite recommendations to enroll in dev ed, have shown lackluster performance. Only 20% of students passed college math with a “C” or higher, 50% passed college reading, and 50% passed college writing. Overall, estimates indicate that approximately 15% fewer students enrolled in dev ed since the policy went into effect.
Source: Inside Higher Ed