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.