Designing Meaningful Developmental Reform Packet

Jaggars, Shanna; Stacey, Georgia West; Hodara, Michelle

In the United States, 60 percent of recent high school graduates enter community college already behind. These students are required to take remedial or developmental education courses before enrolling in college-level courses; in some cases, students are referred to two, three, or even four semesters of developmental education. However, recent evidence suggests that this system is not as effective as colleges might hope. While the annual cost of providing remediation to community college students nationwide has been estimated at more than $2 billion, many developmental education students never successfully progress to and through college-level courses. Designing Meaningful Developmental Reform summarizes the issues and concerns underlying each pair of opposing forces, lays out relevant data, and presents a case study for each tension illustrating how a community college has worked to reconcile that particular tension. By addressing each of these tensions, this review seeks to help colleges embark on a fruitful and effective process of reform. It can serve as a conversation starter and guide, allowing administrators and faculty to speak candidly with one another in a context that allows those involved to bring their concerns out into the open and work through them together. Once these conversations happen, colleges can develop strategies for developmental reform that are embraced by stakeholders at all levels of the community college system.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
CCRC Report
Published Here
February 13, 2014