Developmental Education Placement

Participation in Developmental English or Math: North Carolina

Percentage of students who first enrolled in North Carolina Community Colleges in fall 2003 and enrolled in a developmental English course within one year and percentage who enrolled in a developmental math course, by level of course

What Is Measured?

Percentage of first-time degree seeking students enrolled in North Carolina Community Colleges in fall 2003 who took a developmental English or math course within one year

Who Is Counted?

First-time degree-seeking students enrolled in North Carolina Community Colleges in fall 2003

What It Tells Us

Twenty-seven percent of first-time degree-seeking students at North Carolina Community Colleges enrolled in a developmental English course within one year, and 45 percent enrolled in a developmental math course. Participation in a higher-level developmental math course (introductory Algebra or above) was somewhat more common than participation in a lower-level developmental math course (25 percent vs. 21 percent).

Why It's Important

For students in need of developmental education, enrolling in a specific course mandated by the placement test is the first step toward advancement to a college-level program. Many students never enroll in developmental courses at the level at which they are assessed, however. Because placements are not always binding, many students enroll in higher- or lower-level courses. Some may skip courses in the remedial sequence or skip developmental education altogether. As a result, the rates at which students enroll in developmental courses provide an incomplete picture of the need for remediation. Placement information, however, is rarely available, leaving enrollment rates as the only measure for gauging students' college readiness.

About the Data

Developmental English was not reported by level.

Developmental English courses: not defined.

Developmental math courses: includes high-level developmental education math courses (Introductory Algebra: MAT070 and above) and low-level developmental education math courses (below Introductory Algebra: MAT050 and MAT060).

Data Source

North Carolina Community College System, Office of the President. (2010, May 25). Data trends and briefings.