Developmental Education Placement

Participation in Developmental Math: Virginia

Percentage of first-time Virginia Community College students enrolled in fall 2004 who took a developmental math course within four years, by course level

What Is Measured?

Percentage of Virginia Community College students who enrolled in different levels of developmental math within four years

Who Is Counted?

First-time Virginia Community College students enrolled in the summer or fall 2004 terms who enrolled in developmental math

What It Tells Us

Among first-time Virginia Community College students who enrolled in developmental math courses, 20 percent enrolled in Pre-algebra, 29 percent in Algebra I, 16 percent in Algebra II or higher, and 35 percent enrolled in more than one developmental math course.

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 math courses: include pre-algebra (MTH01, MTH02, MTH09), algebra I (MTH03), and algebra II or higher (MTH04, MTH05, MTH06, and MTH07). First-time college students enrolled in a Virginia Community College System (VCCS) college in the summer or fall 2004 terms had no prior college credits other than those earned through high school dual-enrollment programs. The cohort includes students in transfer and career-tech programs as well as those concurrently enrolled in high school. These students were followed for four years through the 2008 summer term.
Data Source

Jenkins, D., Jaggars, S., Roksa, J., Zeidenberg, M., & Sung-Woo, C. (2009, November). Strategies for promoting gatekeeper course success among students needing remediation: Research report for the Virginia Community College System (full-length technical report). New York: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.