Developmental Education

Issue Focus
November, 2020
Alexander Mayer, Kate Tromble

A college degree remains critical to unlocking opportunity and to accessing America’s middle class, yet millions of students who pursue higher education never earn degrees. This memo, produced with Results for America, draws lessons and policy implications from two decades of rigorous research in postsecondary institutions focused on addressing this problem.

Issue Focus

What States and Colleges Need to Know

October, 2020

Colleges, researchers, and advocates believe innovation and change are needed in developmental (remedial) education, because developmental courses have low success rates and because many of their students ultimately drop out. This brief summarizes research on developmental education and provides summaries of findings and implications for state and college practices.

Report

Impact Findings From an Evaluation of a Multiple Measures Assessment Strategy

October, 2020
Elisabeth A. Barnett, Elizabeth Kopko, Dan Cullinan, Clive Belfield

A random assignment evaluation at seven State University of New York campuses finds that using multiple measures assessments to determine placement in remedial education led to more students being placed in college-level courses, where they did better than their peers who were placed in remedial classes.

Issue Focus
October, 2020
Marcia Ballinger

In this commentary, originally published in Community College Daily, President Marcia Ballinger of Lorain County Community College describes how Lorain’s comprehensive student success program, SAIL, has persevered during the pandemic — and offered lessons for school’s overall response to COVID-19.

Working Paper

How CUNY Start Reshaped Instruction for Students Referred to Developmental Mathematics

June, 2019
Susan Bickerstaff, Nikki Edgecombe

Using data from interviews, classroom observations, an instructor survey, and curricular materials, this paper describes four key features of the CUNY Start mathematics instructional approach, paying particular attention to how these features differ from traditional developmental education.

Working Paper

Learning from CUNY Start

May, 2020
Maria Scott Cormier, Susan Bickerstaff

This paper describes the professional development model used in CUNY Start, a program developed at the City University of New York to support entering students identified as academically underprepared in literacy and mathematics.

Issue Focus

Adapting the Evidence for 2020 and Beyond

June, 2020

MDRC has studied a number of strategies for helping students stay in college and succeed there. Lessons from some of these models may be readily adapted to support students and close equity gaps now and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This Issue Focus offers three lessons taken from MDRC’s evaluations.

Issue Focus

Three Insights from Research

June, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic means community colleges cannot administer in-person tests to determine whether students must take developmental (remedial) courses. But some colleges were already using multiple pieces of information for course placement, rather than a single test score. This brief offers three relevant insights from research on these placement systems.

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