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Background on Developmental Education. Ruth Dalrymple and Marilyn Mays Texas Collaborative for Teaching Excellence June 12 – 13, 2003. The Kellogg Institute. Held each summer 4 week seminar Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina. Why Appalachian State University?.

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background on developmental education

Background on Developmental Education

Ruth Dalrymple and Marilyn Mays

Texas Collaborative for Teaching Excellence

June 12 – 13, 2003

the kellogg institute
The Kellogg Institute
  • Held each summer
  • 4 week seminar
  • Appalachian State University
  • Boone, North Carolina
why appalachian state university
Why Appalachian State University?
  • It is the home of the National Center for Developmental Education.
  • It publishes several developmental education journals.
  • Its faculty includes some of the leading researchers in the field of developmental education, including Dr. Hunter Boylan, Dr. Barbara Bonham, Dr. “Bunk” Spann, and Sandy Drewes.
  • What was the first institution of higher education in the United States?
    • Harvard
  • In what year was Harvard founded?
    • 1636
  • Why does this matter?
    • Harvard provided developmental education for its first students.
we are not the new kids on the block
We are not the new kids on the block
  • As soon as the first American college was founded, we had our first admissions standards.
  • And as soon as we had our first admissions standards, we had students who couldn’t meet them.
  • Such students were tutored until they qualified.
developmental history
Developmental History
  • Our first colleges were established to train clergymen. These students needed remediation in Greek and Latin.
  • In the early 1800’s colleges began training for merchants and tradesmen,and expanded the pool of engineering , agricultural, and scientific talent in the developing nation. Anyone who had the money to attend college could, without regard to prior preparation.
developmental history7
Developmental History
  • In the last half of the 1800’s colleges for women, for African-Americans, agricultural colleges, and technical colleges expanded.
  • So did the number of college students who were underprepared.
developmental history8
Developmental History
  • In 1907, “Ivy League” admissions officers agreed that more than half of their students had not met their own basic admissions standards and needed remediation.
developmental history9
Developmental History
  • 1944: Veterans Adjustment Act (the GI Bill)
  • 1963: the Civil Rights Act
  • 1965: the Higher Education Act
developmental education
Developmental Education
  • To be successful, students had to master a fairly advanced level of reading, writing, language skills, mathematics, and study skills.
  • They also had to develop new attitudes toward learning and scholarship.
developmental education11
Developmental Education

NCES: More than 80% of all American colleges and universities offer some type of remedial or developmental education.

  • Myth: developmental education lowers standards.
  • Truth: developmental education maintains or raises standards.
9 principles for developmental education dr ed morante
9 Principles for Developmental Education-- Dr. Ed Morante
  • Many students enter our colleges inadequately prepared to handle college level courses.
  • Basic skills are needed by all who come to college without regard to program or major.
  • All “normal” students are capable of learning these basic skills.
9 principles for developmental education dr ed morante13
9 Principles for Developmental Education-- Dr. Ed Morante
  • The “open door policy” means both access and quality.

Corollary: Both access and quality are achievable.

  • Retention is essential for both access and quality.
9 principles for developmental education dr ed morante14
9 Principles for Developmental Education-- Dr. Ed Morante
  • Developmental education bridges the gap between the proficiencies of entering students and providing both access and quality.

Corollary: The reverse is also true, without a comprehensive, effective, developmental education program, college will lower standards (or, less likely, be a “revolving door” institution).

9 principles for developmental education dr ed morante15
9 Principles for Developmental Education-- Dr. Ed Morante
  • Successful completion of high school (grades) does not necessarily indicate proficiency.
  • The “right to fail” is pernicious for entering students.
  • There will always be a need for developmental education.
a baker s dozen of myths and concerns
A Baker’s Dozen of Myths and Concerns
  • 1. Access vs. Quality
  • 2. Right to Fail
  • 3. All or none
  • 4. Disadvantaged or Minority Students
  • 5. Not fair to students
  • 6. Either you have it or you don’t
  • 7. `We don’t have these students
a baker s dozen of myths and concerns17
A Baker’s Dozen of Myths and Concerns
  • 8. Good grades in high school indicate proficiency
  • 9. Marking on the curve is good education.
  • 10. Pay twice
  • 11. Students will drop out.
  • 12. Faculty will lose jobs
  • 13. Standards will be lowered.
why we do it
Why we do it . . .

“The strength of American higher education is in its commitment to providing a second, third, and even fourth chance to acquire needed knowledge and skills. . .”

McCabe & Day, 1999

how we do it
How we do it . . .

You get more bang for the buck.

“Remedial education is the nation’s most cost effective educational programs.”

McCabe & Day

interesting information
Interesting Information . . .
  • 71% of colleges offer institutional credit for developmental courses
  • 13% of colleges offer no credit for developmental courses
  • 11% of colleges offer elective credit for developmental courses
  • 5% of colleges offer subject degree credit for developmental courses
expectancy for success
Expectancy for Success

“Research supports that successful students expend enormous amounts of effort related to their expectation that this effort will result in desired outcomes.” -Bloom, Gardner, Bloom

This is called self-efficacy.

self esteem
Self Esteem

This is the extent to which an individual believes himself to be capable, significant, successful, and worthy. -Coopersmith

Many (probably most) developmental education students have low self esteem and high anxiety.

Fears are often mistaken for low ability.

research findings
Research Findings
  • States are increasingly requiring accountability for developmental education. - Russell, 1997
  • Only 14% of community colleges and 25% of universities evaluate developmental education systematically. - Boylan, Bliss, and Bonham, 1977
do you know
Do you know?
  • In most colleges, what percent of academic courses (such as English, History, etc.) do evaluations?
    • 0%

(maybe 5%)

  • In general, only developmental classes are under the scrutiny of constant evaluations
do you know25
Do you know?
  • Doing evaluations gets

institutional support for the program.

  • Evaluation data should be shared with

faculty, staff, students, businesses, etc.

  • Course evaluations should never be used for

punitive actions.

do you know26
Do you know?
  • Much of what we teach may not catch up to a student for

6 months

1 year

or longer

think about it
Think about it……………
  • Amateurs are not accountable.
  • Professionals are.
consider this
Consider this . . . . . . . . . .
  • Access to higher education should be available to all students regardless of incoming skill level. These students should be encouraged to reach their full potential.
consider this29
Consider this . . . . . . . . . .
  • Developmental education must be seen as an integral part of the college’s strategic plan, and supported by administration, faculty, staff, students, and community.
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers
  • Sends information to all state Coordinating Boards
  • Provides newsletters
  • Go to to get on mail list
  • Keep up with the same information the Coordinating Board receives
  • In Texas, THECB director is Ron Brown
interesting statistics
Interesting statistics
  • There is a 1 to 1 correlation between income and SAT scores
  • About 40% of developmental students work 30+ hours each week.
  • About 70% of developmental faculty are women
  • About 60% of all college faculty are men
pass rates
Pass rates
  • If a student was not in class, the instructor should not be held accountable for his/her not passing.
  • If we are measuring how effective the teaching is, then we must measure only those students actually taught.
  • If we measure how many students we drop or who withdraw, then we must measure differently.
benchmarks for measuring dev education outcomes
Benchmarks for Measuring Dev Education Outcomes
  • Pass Rates in Developmental Courses
  • Pass rates in Post-Developmental Education Curriculum Courses
  • Graduation Rates for Developmental Students
  • (handout)
experts agree
Experts agree
  • Retention rates are a not a good measure of how well we are teaching (doing our job).
  • Retention from year to year, not a good measure for community colleges
  • Retention from year to year, good for a residential university

Most meaningful / significant statistic is the post – developmental education pass rates.

Example: 100 students in math 90

40 take college algebra

30 pass college algebra

pass rate is 75% (30 out of 40)

not 30% (30 out of 100)

outstanding d e programs
Outstanding d.e. programs

CQIN (Continuous Quality Improvement Network) listed the top 5 college developmental education programs in the country.

outstanding d e programs37
Outstanding d.e. programs
  • Received 80 nominations
  • 60 provided data
  • Surveys cut the list to 30
  • These were rated
  • List was cut to 18
  • More detailed surveys cut the list to 9
  • Top 5 chosen
  • All 5 colleges were visited
these colleges are
These colleges are
  • Durham Technical C C, Durham, NC
  • General College University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • Hudson Valley C C, Troy, NY
  • Oakton C C, Des Plaines, IL
  • Richland College, Dallas, TX
outstanding d e programs39
Outstanding d.e. programs

“An innovation or ‘best practice’ cannot be replicated on your campus, it can only be adapted to fit your campus.”

graduation statistics
Graduation Statistics

On average, only 10% of African-American students who place into d.e. courses earn AA degrees within 4 years.

For Hispanics, this is only 11%.

For Anglos, this is 20+%.