One-size-fits-all developmental classes are becoming archaic. This ECS brief examines ways to redesign remedial education to better match students’ skills and improve their success rates. Accelerated classes are one way to do that — content is compressed or self-paced. Some colleges use a model in which online software, intensive instruction, and individual assistance replace lectures. Other accelerated pathways through developmental education include modular and competency-based designs, which target students’ specific deficits, sequencing redesigns which align coursework to fit the student’s major — statistics instead of algebra, for example — and finally, co-enrollment, in which students take a developmental course and a college-level course on the same subject. The remedial course provides academic support while the student earns credit.
This is one of a series of useful policy papers on community colleges published by ECS in Denver