The Developmental Education Quagmire

Developmental education is an integral part of what community colleges such as MCCC do. Nationally the research indicates that only 10 percent of all students who take at least one remedial or developmental education course end up completing (IPEDS data). While I do not have the numbers for MCCC, I am sure that our success rate is above that. Faculty who teach developmental education courses are compelled to work harder because they are dealing with students who are not college-ready.

I refer to the developmental education track as a “roach motel” because of the dismal success rate of students who end up on that track (nationally). The courses themselves are not the “roach motel”, it is the developmental system. The way students are placed (based on a test they have not been prepared for) and what may happen to them after they complete these courses. This is part of the national dialogue, and MCCC is not exempt from that.

The faculty who teach remedial and developmental education are some of the best and brightest and deserve all the credit for what they do. The issue is a systemic one which needs to be addressed by all concerned to ensure what matters most –STUDENT SUCCESS.

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