Reengineering Developmental Math, Part II

Accelerating Student Success Through High-Return Personalized Pathways

Topics: Community College, Student Retention and Success, Developmental and Remedial Education

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About the Presentation

Once a low-profile college offering, developmental education has been forced into the public spotlight by the completion agenda, earning names such as the “Bridge to Nowhere” and the “Bermuda Triangle of Higher Education.” College leaders agree that these gloomy labels hold some truth: over half of community college entrants test into pre-college coursework and only a small fraction of these students ever progress to college-level or earn a college credential.

In an effort to strengthen student outcomes, progressive colleges are redesigning developmental math curricula, placement practices, and instructional delivery. While several of these reforms have produced impressive student success gains, no silver bullet has emerged. Further complicating redesign prioritization, similar strategies have produced vastly different outcomes across institutions, suggesting that it is not enough to simply “have a good idea”—success is in the implementation details.