Developmental Education Placement

Placement in Developmental Courses: Colorado

Among Colorado high school graduates, percent of students who placed into developmental education from 2009-10 to 2012-13, disaggregated by race and gender in 2012-13

What Is Measured?

The percentage of students who placed into developmental education in at least one subject from 2009-10 to 2012-13, and disaggregated by race and gender in 2012-13

Who Is Counted?

Students who graduated from Colorado public high schools in 2009 to 2012 and were enrolled in Colorado Community Colleges in the following fall and spring

What It Tells Us

Overall, 64 percent of students entering Colorado Community Colleges in 2012-13 were placed in at least one developmental education course, a rate that has held fairly steady since 2009-10. Black students had the highest rate of developmental education placement (87 percent) and white students had the lowest rate (55 percent). Proportionally more female students were assigned to remediation (67 percent) than were male students (60 percent).

Why It's Important

Assessment for college readiness to determine the appropriate placement in a subject is particularly important for community colleges. Such assessment is needed because their open-access admissions policies and outreach to nontraditional students mean that a much larger proportion of their students take developmental education courses than do students in other sectors of higher education. For students needing developmental education, enrolling in the developmental course mandated by the placement test is the first step toward completion. Most institutions select from a handful of standardized assessments to place students in developmental education, but tremendous variation still exists across and within states and even institutions on which tests and cutoff scores are used.

About the Data

Data do not include students who attended postsecondary education at institutions outside of Colorado or at private Colorado institutions, and students who were missing state-assigned student IDs. Data for dual-mission colleges, which provide both two-year and four-year programs, are not included.

Data on non-resident aliens, students of unknown ethnicity, and students with missing values for gender are included in the overall rate for 2012-13 but are not reported separately.

Data Source

Colorado Department of Higher Education. (2014, May). 2013 Legislative Report on Remedial Education. Denver, CO.

Colorado Department of Higher Education. (2013, April). 2012 Legislative Report on Remedial Education. Denver, CO.