Collecting and Using Data for Culturally Relevant Developmental Education Reform

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Culturally sustaining student supports and offerings are developed in response to students’ expressed needs and evolve over time in response to the needs of the student population. Culturally sustaining developmental education reform will be characterized by institutions supplementing quantitative data and existing research findings with qualitative information from key stakeholders to improve or develop interventions that address student obstacles.

Applying the Lessons of Corequisite Support to Measure Corequisite Success

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Complete College America has been a champion of corequisite support for more than a decade. This is based on the overwhelming and consistent evidence that it is a better model than traditional prerequisite remediation for students to pass their gateway math and English courses. The corequisite model has also been shown to be an effective equity strategy to eliminate institutional performance gaps for racially minoritized students. I often frame corequisite pedagogical practices through the following five components.

We’ve Got Numerical Outcomes, Now What?

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Developmental education (DE) reforms are addressing some barriers in college progression that students in traditional prerequisite course structures face, especially students who are racially minoritized, students with low incomes and adults returning to college. In fact, many of the structural changes often produce better outcomes data in the aggregate than when traditional placement and course models are used. However, after disaggregating these data, leaders who notice outcome differences between student groups have asked us, “How can I address this disparity, and what should I do with these data?” In this blog, I share outcomes from DE reforms and offer a tool that helps to refine the approach to DE reform by using outcome data to address ineffective institutional policies and practices.

Refining Corequisite Supports to Boost Student Success

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Every year, a majority of students entering community college for the first time are assessed as needing remediation in math or English. Colleges have directed them to enroll in developmental courses, where they spend time and money without accruing credits toward a college degree. However, many students who enroll in developmental courses never make it into college-level courses.

Higher Ed Systems Find Advisors Key to Dev Ed Reform

Emily Warren and Janet Newhall from Louisiana Board of Regents at the 2022 LNC

Given the impacts on higher education during the pandemic, students need access to high quality, well trained advisors to help them make sense of dizzying career and academic choices. For many students, particularly Black, Brown, Asian American and Indigenous students, returning adults and students from low-income backgrounds there are significant barriers to attaining their degrees. 

The Return of the SStF Learning Network Convening

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In May, Strong Start to Finish hosted our annual Learning Network Convening in Denver, Colo. For many, this event, Celebrating Our Work and the Promise of Dev Ed Reform, was their first time attending an in-person convening since the pandemic began. Designed as an invitation-only event to create an intimate experience, we curated sessions featuring the work of our SStF network from 2018–2021.

Offering Math Corequisites to Help Diversify the Tech Force

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Rapid technological changes are creating new, high-demand career paths for students, many of which require college math. However, long-standing structural barriers impede many students’ completion of college-level math courses. In this blog, Elisha Smith Arrillaga, from The University of Austin at Texas, discusses how corequisite math courses increase student success and lead to more equitable access to emerging career paths.

“Lift Ev’ry Voice” for Math

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The needs of Black, Brown, Asian American and Indigenous students are often overlooked in college classrooms, creating challenges and barriers to course completion. This blog post from Vanson Nguyen of College of Alameda and Jamylle Carter of Diablo Valley College asserts that faculty are uniquely positioned to improve students’ experiences and outcomes in the classroom. It also highlights the importance of hearing directly from students to understand what they need to be successful.

Lessons from Corequisite Math Reform

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Over the past several years, Lauren Schudde’s research team has been examining how community colleges in Texas responded to a statewide mandate for corequisite coursework. They discuss several common strategies to smooth the transition to corequisite reforms used by high implementation colleges (those exceeding state targets and moving rapidly to scale).