Strong Start To Finish

Provide supports.

Academic and nonacademic support is provided in conjunction with gateway courses in the student’s academic or career area of interest through co-requisite or other models with evidence of success in which supports are embedded in curricula and instructional strategies.

Many students do not succeed in college-level courses as these courses are currently taught and structured. Indeed, many students at all levels of preparation need help with their college-level courses—not only in math and English, but also in other key courses in their program of study, such as Biology 101 for aspiring nurses and Economics 101 or Accounting 101 for prospective business majors. Even more support is needed when colleges increase access to and broaden the range of students who begin their postsecondary studies in gateway college-credit courses and potentially concentrate more significant academic need in any remaining remedial programs.

The type of support that students need can vary, and a comprehensive intake process can help to identify a student’s most pressing academic and nonacademic needs. Co-requisite and other integrated support models provide mandatory support in connection with gateway courses or course sequences. They offer alternatives to prerequisite, standalone remediation that colleges have found to be largely unsuccessful. Co-requisite models deliver academic and nonacademic support while students are learning college-level content. Co-requisite support takes many forms to help students develop the suite of academic and nonacademic skills necessary for gateway course success and academic momentum. The supports are discipline-appropriate and might include, for example, required tutoring, supplemental instruction, computer lab learning, group assignments, study groups and/or co-enrollment in a skill-building course.

Promising models include:

  • One-semester co-requisite support. In this approach, students enroll directly into single-semester, gateway college-level courses and are provided additional academic support either within or alongside the course. Remedial support can be provided as a required supplemental, parallel support course; as a non-course-based option, such as required participation in self-paced instruction in a computer lab; or as mandatory tutoring. One common strategy is simply to extend instructional time after class (e.g., 45 minutes) or to add additional hours to courses (e.g., five hours per week instead of three).
  • Structured cohort models. Students in highly structured cohort models with integrated supports take their courses with a set of peers organized as a learning community. As in the above model, the courses are redesigned to include essential academic and nonacademic supports, but students receive added financial aid and advising that enable them to attend college full time and to complete a highly prescribed set of courses in a fixed timespan.
Next Principle


Austin Peay State University (APSU), Tennessee. "Developmental Studies Redesign Initiative."

Denley, T. (2015). “Co-Requisite Remediation Pilot Study Fall 2014 – Spring 2015.” Tennessee Board of Regents.

Denley, T. (2016). "Co-Requisite Study – Full Implementation 2015-2016." Tennessee Board of Regents.

Estrem, H., Shepherd, D., & Sturman, S. (2014). “The Write Class: Engaging Students in the Course Matching Process.” Boise State University.

Grubb, W.N., & Gabriner, R. (2013). Basic Skills Education in Community Colleges: Inside and Outside of Classrooms. Routledge.

Rodríguez, O. (2014). “Increasing Access to College-Level Math: Early Outcomes Using the Virginia Placement Test.” (CCRC Brief No. 58). New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.

Vandal, B. (2014). “Promoting Gateway Course Success: Scaling Corequisite Academic Support.” Complete College America.

Zeidenberg, M., Jenkins, D., & Scott, M. (2012). “Not Just Math and English: Courses That Pose Obstacles to Community College Completion.” (CCRC Working Paper No. 52). New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.

Implementation Guides

Charles A. Dana Center and Roane State Community College. Introduction to Statistics and Co-Requisite Support Course Sample Timeline.

Complete College America. Corequisite Remediation – Blueprint.

University System of Georgia. Transforming College Mathematics.