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We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:

Setting Up Success in Developmental Education: How State Policy Can Help Community Colleges Improve Student Success Outcomes

Michael Lawrence Collins

The large number of students entering community college needing developmental education, combined with the low number of students who complete their developmental requirements and meet college-ready standards within the first academic year, have made this area an Achieving the Dream priority for influencing state policies. Achieving the Dream, a national initiative to improve student success in community colleges, has taken a multipronged approach to improving outcomes in developmental education.

This issue brief describes how the 15 participating states have concentrated their policy efforts on four key areas:

  • Preventative Strategies: States must define and align standards and expectations for “college ready” transitions from K-12 into community college.
  • Assessment and Placement: A carefully thought-out placement/assessment policy is critical to improving outcomes for developmental education students.
  • Implementation and Evaluation of Program Innovation: States should redouble efforts to identify strategies and interventions that can increase student and institutional performance in developmental education.
  • Performance Measurement and Incentives: States must develop accurate indicators of how well community colleges are performing, including intermediate measures of success and reward institutions for high performance.