Strong Start To Finish
Points of Interest

Overrepresentation in Developmental Education

This Points of Interest shows that minority students take more developmental education courses on average when compared to white students.
June 10, 2020
Shanique Broom
Tags: Accurate Placement, 2. Enroll in college-level math and English., Transfer and Course Applicability

Developmental education (DevEd) courses are commonly used to assist students who are deemed not ready for college-level coursework. DevEd coursework, while intended to help students with college requirements, often penalizes minority and non-traditional and/or returning adult students. These populations are more frequently required to take additional coursework that may hinder them financially as well as extend their degree completion time.

The National Center for Education Statistics in its First Look report gathered comprehensive information on students’ demographics, backgrounds, enrollment, and completion of postsecondary education. The report shows that almost half of beginning postsecondary students entering college in 2011-12 took an average of two DevEd courses. Most of the students taking DevEd courses self-identified as students of color, and in this case the majority of that population identified as Black or African-American. Black students took an average of close to four DevEd courses whereas white students took an average of two DevEd courses. This Points of Interest shows that minority students take more developmental education courses on average when compared to white students.