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ERIC Number: ED512395
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1526-2049
Student Progression through Developmental Sequences in Community Colleges. CCRC Brief. Number 45
Bailey, Thomas; Jeong, Dong Wook; Cho, Sung-Woo
Community College Research Center, Columbia University
Developmental education is designed to provide students with weak academic skills the opportunity to strengthen those skills enough to prepare them for college-level coursework. The concept is simple enough--students who arrive unprepared for college are provided instruction to bring them up to an adequate level. In practice, developmental education (or "remedial" education, the authors use these terms interchangeably) is complex and confusing. Experts do not agree on the meaning of being "college ready," and policies governing assessment, placement, pedagogy, staffing, completion, and eligibility for enrollment in college-level, credit-bearing courses vary from state to state, college to college, and program to program. The developmental education process is confusing enough simply to describe, yet from the point of view of the student, especially one with very weak academic skills and little previous success in school, it may appear as a bewildering set of unanticipated obstacles involving several assessments, classes in more than one subject area, and sequences of courses requiring three or more semesters of study before the student (often a high school graduate) is judged prepared for college-level work. The policy deliberation and especially the research about developmental education give scant attention to this confusion and complexity. Discussion typically assumes that the state of being "college ready" is well-defined, and it often elides the distinction between students who need remediation and those who actually enroll in developmental courses. In this Brief, which summarizes a study by the Community College Research Center on patterns of student progression through developmental education, the authors broaden the discussion by moving beyond consideration of the developmental "course" and focus attention instead on the developmental "sequence". (Contains 3 tables.) [This Brief is based on CCRC Working Paper No. 15, "Referral, Enrollment, and Completion in Developmental Education Sequences in Community Colleges" (ED503962).]
Community College Research Center. Available from: CCRC Publications. Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Community College Research Center
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A