B I T S Y C O H N
C C C S D E V E L O P M E N T A L E D U C A T I O N C O O R D I N A T O R
EDUCATION IN COLORADO
“The more levels of developmental courses a student
needs to go through, the less likely that student is to
ever complete college English or math.”
- Thomas Bailey (2009) CCRC Brief.
CCCS pipeline example for students beginning in
• Enroll in remedial math (6933) 100%
• Do they complete MAT 090 (3053) 44%
• If they pass, do they enroll in college math (1746) 25%
• If they enroll, do they pass the course (1239) 18%
• If they complete, do they graduate (558)
Nawrocki, Baker, & Corash (2009). Success of remedial math students in the
Colorado community college system: A longitudinal study.
HIGH ATTRITION RATES ARE A
For students placing two levels below a college course in
English/Math, there are 5 “exit points”
• Do they pass the first course?
• If they pass, do they enroll in the next course?
• If they enroll, do they pass the second course?
• If they pass, do they enroll in the college-level course?
• If they enroll, do they pass the college-level course?
Students placing three levels down have 7 exit points.
THE BIG PICTURE
• The current system doesn’t work
• The pipeline
• Assessment, curriculum and the great debate
• College Completion Agenda
• Non remediated 58%
• Math 27%
• Reading 17%
• Organizing the effort: Complete College America
• Carnegie Corporation of New York, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the
Ford Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Lumina Foundation for
• By 2020 6 out of 10 young adults will have a college degree or credential of
WHAT’S THE STORY IN COLORADO
• CCCS 2009-2010
• 68,000 enrollments in remedial courses – 12% of all
enrollments - - 60% in math classes
• Enrollment in remedial courses increased by nearly 65%
• Recent HS grads (<18-20) are more likely to be enrolled in
remedial courses than those from older age categories 2011 =
• Course completion rates
• 61% of all remedial courses ended in successful completion
• Math courses in general have the lowest pass rates
REPORT: CCCS Remedial education and course
completion rates, October 2010, www.cccs.edu
COLORADO PERCENT OF 09-10 ENROLLMENT
IN DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION
Students enrolled in
at least one DE
All other students
Percent of total 09-10 remedial enrollment
Percent of total
EDUCATION TASK FORCE
• State Board of Community Colleges and
• Developed as part of the state plan to meet President
Obama’s Completion Agenda
• Colorado Community College System was charged with
assembling a group of stakeholders from community
colleges around the state
• 18 month charge
• Recommendations to the SBCCOE in February 2013
The DETF has been charged with reviewing
developmental education practices and with making
recommendations about what steps the system
will take to become the premier purveyor of
developmental education in more streamlined and
efficient ways, resulting in greater student success.
The group, comprised of faculty and administrators
from across Colorado, will make recommendations
Assessment, contextualization, online learning,
student support services, modular options,
developmental education, and options for
The DETF is working to identify the best
practices in each area and then to make
recommendations about implementation
at the CCCS.
The DETF will holistically examine the role
that developmental education plays in
overall student success.
• Review and clarify the purpose of developmental
education and analyze implications for policy and
practice resulting from a clarified purpose.
• Review current system policies and practices
related to developmental education and propose
revisions that will promote greater student success in
alignment with sound academic principles and
• On the basis of a comprehensive
review, recommend broad strategies and specific
initiatives related to developmental education that
should be pursued by Colorado's Community
College System Colleges, leading to enhanced
outcomes for student learning and success.
• Investigate and analyze measures of success, data
reports and studies on success of developmental
• Examine structures for developmental
education, highlighting innovative and successful
strategies, improving the student experience and
identifying barriers to success.
WHERE ARE WE SO FAR?
TAA and CCA grant
CCA Initiative - $1million in 2011 to support reform
Colorado Online Energy Training Consortium - $17.3 million
Research – Presentations
Institutes, national and local innovations
Research is showing that students who test in at remedial levels and don’t
remediate but complete, perform at an equal level to those who did
Students entering at the lowest level rarely complete
Multiple placement criteria - assessments, secondary
diagnostics, HS transcripts
Compression of English and Reading
Contextualized curriculum – learning communities, writing across
Curriculum at all levels customizable to student needs – hybrid
formats, modular labs
Cognitive and non- cognitive supports
Faculty Professional Development
• Multiple developmental sequences/paths/branches available
to students based on their career/major interest.
• Non-credit “soft landing” including options for colleges to
deliver depending on student and staffing needs - including
referral to ABE programs, boot camp, AAA Accuplacer
preparation, MFL, Aleks, MOOC’s, tutoring
• Each course in each developmental sequence should be
redesigned to only cover content necessary for the college
level course success.
• Co-requisite AAA requirement
• Multiple models for delivery
ENGLISH AND READING
• Develop a compression/co-requisite model that allows students
to enter 100 level classes no later than the second semester
• Mainstreaming - co-enrollment in 100 level course ex. ENG090
with ENG 121
• Compression - two sections of developmental coursework in
• Integration and compression ex. ENG/REA 060
• Secondary writing assessment – WritePlacer or writing sample
scored with a standardized rubric
• Redefined full-time course load
• Fund a system of faculty and staff support to carry out
developmental education redesign.
• Expand advising to all students who test into developmental
• Offer limited full time positions during the implementation
phase of this work to stabilize our workforce to allow for
program adoption to scale.
FACULTY SUPPORT AND
• An institutional administrator (IA) for Accuplacer is needed
at the system level for all colleges instead of decentralized
at each college.
• This IA should monitor common multiple measures, consistent
placement scores for all system schools, ensure consistent
training for testing center directors, create uniform test delivery
and scoring practices, and prepare all new Accuplacer testing
platforms for college use. The IA should implement best
practices for National Council for Curriculum and Assessment
• The CO Accuplacer scores should be validated every 3-5
years consistent with test recommendations from the
• Following a revision of all developmental education
curriculum, develop a Colorado Accuplacer.
• Have Testing Center Directors/designated experts
meet to determine processes and procedures that
can be standardized across colleges. To include but
not limited to: Retakes, Common non-cognitive
questions, and test cost.
• Accuplacer scores need to be re-standardized to a norm this
should be done by a system IA. Knowing that faculty/chairs
can still allow students to override into courses.
• Calculators should be allowed on the Accuplacer to align our
pedagogical framework with the K-12 and four-year system
• Once the curriculum is developed for each area or
concurrently we need to work with College Board to change
the strands for our Accuplacer. This needs to be flexible and
allow for changes over a period of time so we can see where
students are successful and make amendments to the test as
• DETF meets monthly on the first Friday of the month
at the CCCS office at Lowry.
• Recommendations are due to the SBCCOE for their
February board meeting.
• The SBCCOE will make decisions about the next
steps based on the DETF recommendations
• Implementation plans will be developed after the
Board has met and decided on next steps
• Bailey, T. (February 2009). Rethinking Developmental Education.
CCRC Brief. Community College
• Research Center. Teachers College, Columbia University.
• Center for Community College Student Engagement. (2012). A
Matter of Degrees: Promising practices for community college
student success (A First Look). Austin, TX: The University of Texas at
Austin, Community College Leadership Program.
• Schwartz, B. (2004). The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less.
New York. Harper Perennial.
• Developmental Education Task Force: ww.cccs.edu/detf
• COETC Grant: www.cccs.edu/taa
This work by Colorado Community College System COETC Grant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Unported License. The material was created with funds from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career
Training (TAACCCT) Grant awarded to the Colorado Online Energy Training Consortium (COETC).Based on a work at
www.cccs.edu.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.cccs.edu.
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