Precollege Milestones

Completion of Developmental Math: California

Percentage of first-time California Community College students according to their developmental math completion status, by level of developmental math

What Is Measured?

Completion of first developmental math course

Who Is Counted?

First-time students initially enrolled in fall 2002 excluding dual-enrolled high school students who enrolled in a developmental math course within seven years

What It Tells Us

Overall, about one-half of students who enrolled in a developmental math course completed their first course (50 percent to 54 percent). About one-quarter (25 percent to 28 percent) failed their course, while about one-fifth to one-quarter (20 percent to 24 percent) withdrew from the course.

Why It's Important

Most beginning community college students must complete at least one developmental education course in mathematics or English (reading, writing, or both). For students who start in developmental courses two or more levels below the college level in a particular subject, this milestone is the first step toward completing their developmental education requirements and continuing on to college-level coursework. For students who start at one level below the college level in a particular subject, this milestone also represents the final step in completing that developmental education sequence.

About the Data
Developmental math courses: include courses below college mathematics (defined as all math courses that fulfill the general education math requirement in the California State University and/or University of California systems). Developmental math courses include Basic Arithmetic (four levels below college math), Pre-Algebra (three levels below), Beginning Algebra (two levels below), and Intermediate Algebra/Geometry (one level below).
Data Source

Perry, M., Bahr, P. R., Rosin, M., & Woodward, K. M. (2010). Course-taking patterns, policies, and practices in developmental education in the California Community Colleges. Mountain View, CA: EdSource.