Student Progression Through Developmental Sequences in Community Colleges

Bailey, Thomas R.; Jeong, Dong Wook; Cho, Sung-Woo

This Brief summarizes a CCRC study that analyzed the patterns and determinants of student progression through sequences of developmental education starting from initial referral. The authors relied primarily on a micro-level longitudinal dataset that includes detailed information about student progression through developmental education. This dataset was collected as part of the national community college initiative, Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count. The dataset has many advantages, but it is not nationally representative; therefore, we check our results against a national dataset—the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988. Results of the study indicate that fewer than one half of the students who are referred to remediation actually complete the entire sequence to which they are referred. About 30 percent of students referred to developmental education do not enroll in any remedial course, and only about 60 percent of referred students actually enroll in the remedial course to which they were referred. The results also show that more students exit their developmental sequences because they did not enroll in the first or a subsequent course than because they failed or withdrew from a course in which they were enrolled.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
CCRC Brief, 45
Published Here
March 19, 2012