Percentage of students who completed developmental math and developmental English sequences within three years
First-time degree-seeking students who enrolled in Achieving the Dream colleges and were referred to developmental math or English courses one level below the college level
Among first-time degree-seeking students who were referred to developmental math and English courses one level below the college level, about one-half (46 percent and 48 percent, respectively) completed a developmental math and English sequence within three years. Another 28 percent of students referred to developmental math did not attempt to complete the sequence, and the remaining 27 percent enrolled in but did not complete the sequence. Among students referred to developmental English, 31 percent of students did not attempt to complete the sequence, and the other 21 percent enrolled in but did not complete the sequence.
Most beginning community college students must complete at least one developmental education course in mathematics or English (reading, writing, or both), and many must complete multiple courses in one or more subjects. Completing the highest-level developmental course in a subject is the final precollege milestone and is often required to transfer to a four-year institution or to earn a certificate or associate degree.
Achieving the Dream: includes 57 public two-year institutions in Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.
Participating institutions were given the following instructions on how to determine whether a student should be considered as referred to remedial math or reading: "Student was referred for remedial needs in mathematics [reading]. Remedial courses are instructional courses designed for students deficient in the general competencies necessary for a regular postsecondary curriculum and educational setting. The student can be referred through a counselor, a developmental office, etc." Institutions with multiple levels of remedial education were asked to report the level to which the student was initially referred.
Note: Totals do not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.
Achieving the Dream. (2011, January/February). Developmental education: Time to completion. Data notes, 6(1).