College Milestones

Completion of Gatekeeper English and Math: Virginia

Percentage of fall 2004 first-time degree-seeking Virginia Community College System students who completed gatekeeper courses in English and percentage who completed gatekeeper courses in math within three years, by subject

What Is Measured?

Percentage of students who completed a gatekeeper course in English and percentage who completed a gatekeeper course in math within three years

Who Is Counted?

First-time degree-seeking students enrolled in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) in fall 2004, including students who began in summer 2004 and dual-enrolled students

What It Tells Us

About one-half (51 percent) of VCCS students completed a gatekeeper English course within three years, while about one-quarter (27 percent) completed a gatekeeper math course.

Why It's Important

There is general consensus that timely completion of gatekeeper courses, the lowest-level college-level courses in the core subjects of mathematics, reading, and writing, positively affects student outcomes such as attainment of certificates and degrees and transfer to a four-year institution. Completion of gatekeeper courses fulfills requirements for graduation and transfer as well as prerequisites for more advanced courses in various fields.

About the Data

Students with missing grades were excluded from calculations.

Gatekeeper courses: any college-level English or math course.

Data Source

Virginia's Community Colleges. (2009, August). On the road to success—some intermediate milestones, Issue #9. Richmond, VA: Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.