College Milestones

Completion of Gatekeeper Math: California

Percentage of 2000-01 California Community College students who were referred to developmental math and completed a gatekeeper math course within eight years, by developmental course level

What Is Measured?

Percentage of students who completed gatekeeper math courses after eight years

Who Is Counted?

First-time freshmen who enrolled in California Community Colleges in 2000-01 and enrolled in developmental math

What It Tells Us

Overall, some 30 percent of students who enrolled in developmental math courses completed gatekeeper math courses within eight years. Students who enrolled in developmental math courses one level below the college level completed gatekeeper math courses at a higher rate than students who enrolled in developmental math courses two or more levels below the college level (39 percent vs. 30–31 percent).

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

Gatekeeper math course: Degree-applicable nontransferable math courses.

Percentage calculated by author.

Data Source

State of California, California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. (2009, September). Basic skills accountability report, 2009. Sacramento, CA: Author.