Successful rates from Tennessee

Last Fall, Tennessee expanded its use of a co-requisite approach to math, writing, and reading at all of its 13 public community colleges. The Board of Regents’ latest study indicates that the approach was successful, overall, in facilitating students’ completing credit-bearing courses compared to traditional developmental education approaches four years ago. College-level course passing rates also increased for minority, adult, and low-income students. Despite the promising results, Tennessee still has much to learn about the differences in course delivery among the community colleges. Another recent research study seems to support some of the efficiency seen in Tennessee. The Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College’s report indicated that using a co-requisite model is more cost effective than traditional remediation, and also improved student engagement.

Source:  InsideHigherEd

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Community colleges in Tennessee nix traditional dev ed

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.

Sources:  Complete College America, PBS NewsHour