New reports detail strategies used in developmental education in Tennessee and Connecticut

The American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy recently released two reports examining innovative strategies in higher education in Tennessee and Connecticut.  In Tennessee, Developmental Studies Redesign and Course Revitalization Redesign were pursued between 2005-2010 and 2010-2015, respectively.  In order to accomplish each, system-level changes were implemented to redesign developmental education and gateway courses across the state.  State legislation, specifically the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, also played a role.  Redesign efforts led the Tennessee Board of Regents to implement a co-requisite model that would bring together developmental and college-level.

When the State of Connecticut passed Public Act 12-40, educational institutions would have to revise existing assessment and placement practices for developmental education.  Additionally, institutions would be limited to one semester for developmental coursework and had to implement a three-level model that provided students with integrated support for college-level courses, intensive developmental courses in one semester, and tuition-free transitional programs that were non-credit.  The ACE report includes data gathered through interviews with several constituent groups at the state legislative and higher education levels, and findings serve as recommendations for improving communication between the legislature and higher education community and more.

Sources: InsideHigherEd, ACE on Tennessee, ACE on Connecticut


Preliminary results in from Florida policy change

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


States look to legislation for repairing dev ed

The remediation system for educating students deemed underprepared for the college-level is far from perfect.  Amid controversy over low success rates and high costs, many states are looking to legislative policy to repair developmental education.  Minnesota is considering whether remedial classes should be optional, Nevada and Montana are considering co-requisite models, and other states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, and Florida have already passed some reform.

Source: Inside Higher Ed