Campus-Based Practices for Promoting Student Success, Developmental Education: A Review of Research on Programmatic Reforms

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Midwestern Higher Education Compact

Developmental education, also termed remedial education, refers to curricula intended to improve the academic skills and knowledge of students who are underprepared for undergraduate coursework, particularly in the areas of mathematics, reading, and writing. Many practitioners and researchers agree that developmental education should be improved, as the traditional approach appears to work for some students but not for others (Bailey, Jaggars, & Scott-Clayton, 2013). Colleges have begun to experiment with new approaches to developmental education, and preliminary research is suggestive of some promising directions (Nodine et al., 2013; Rutschow & Schneider, 2011). This article provides a summary of research on policy and program reforms that may improve developmental education and the outcomes of underprepared students, including establishing appropriate program requirements, refining the student placement process, improving the quality of developmental curricula, and incorporating support services.

developmental studies programs, educational reform, education, higher--government policy