Developmental Education Placement

Placement in developmental courses: Virginia

Among first-time Virginia Community College students, percent who placed into developmental education, by subject

What Is Measured?

The percentage of students who were placed into a developmental course (math, reading, or writing), by subject

Who Is Counted?

First-time Virginia Community College students enrolled in credit-bearing classes in the summer or fall within a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program

What It Tells Us

The percentages of Virginia Community College students who place into developmental math, reading, or writing have remained fairly stable between fall 2006 and fall 2010. Of the subjects, math had the highest percentages of students (60 percent in fall 2010) with developmental need, while reading had the lowest (23 percent in fall 2010).

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

Students enrolled in career studies certificate programs were not included in the cohort. Students who had been dual-enrolled in high school were included.

Data Source

Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness. (2012, April). Developmental Education Annual Report: Tracking the Fall 2007 Cohort and Five-Year Historical Trends. Richmond, VA: Virginia Community College System.