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Points of Interest

Accelerating Placement into College Mathematics

This Points of Interest highlights how aligning expectations and policies for developmental education between K-12 and postsecondary systems, such as Tennessee SAILS program, equitably improves college readiness rates for high school graduates
April 17, 2019
Maxine T. Roberts
Tags: Accurate Placement, 2. Enroll in college-level math and English., Transfer and Course Applicability

High rates of high school graduates entering college and placing into non-credit-bearing developmental math courses incentivized the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) to create the Tennessee Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS) program. SAILS allows high school seniors who are not on track to meet college readiness standards to complete developmental coursework prior to matriculating to college. A new publication from SSTF focuses on implementation of the SAILS program at Cleveland State Community College and Chattanooga State Community College and demonstrates that the model has successfully reduced remediation rates at colleges.


As featured in the graph, the Tennessee SAILS program reduced the percentage of students in TBR community colleges who entered developmental math in college over a six-year period by 15 percentage points. The report also highlights how the SAILS program improved equitable outcomes for students of color and low-income students. This Points of Interest highlights how aligning expectations and policies for developmental education between K-12 and postsecondary systems, such as Tennessee SAILS program, equitably improves college readiness rates for high school graduates.