A growing body of research has found that developmental courses (also known as remedial courses) may do students more harm than good.
The New Mexico State University (NMSU) system has taken a different approach to supporting students, NMSU Provost Daniel Howard writes in the Las Cruces Sun-News.
Students who do not meet the admission requirements for NMSU's main campus can join the Aggie Pathway program. Pathway students start at an NMSU community college, where they benefit from small classes, learning communities, peer mentors, and advisors from their community college and the main campus.
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After students complete 24 credits of non-developmental courses with at least a 2.5 GPA, they can transfer to the four-year institution. Many students choose to complete an associate degree before transferring, but for those who don't, students and community colleges can still get credit for their progress through reverse transfer.
The Aggie Pathway has improved student success, Howard writes. At NMSU Doña Ana Community College, Pathway students persisted at a rate seven points higher than their non-Pathway peers from fall 2016 to spring 2017. Furthermore, the persistence rate for Pathway students with high school GPAs between 2.5 and 2.75 was 4.4 percentage points higher this year than it was in 2015, before the Pathway program launched, Howard reports (Howard, Las Cruces Sun-News, 10/29).
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