Resources for Pre-College Transformation
"Promising Practices" document compiled as part of WA CTC system initiative--Fall 2011...

New report from Center for Community College Student Engagement on promising practices for promoting student success, especially around developmental education: "A Matter of Degrees"...

"Connecting Curriculum, Assessment and Treatment in Developmental Education", report from Community College Virtual Symposium, January 2012

Thoughtful critique of "modular" approach in developmental math from Jack Rotman, American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) and key architect of "New Life for Developmental Mathematics" curriculum...

MDRC Report on improving developmental education: "Unlocking the Gate"

Latest report from Getting Past Go initiative online "jam" focused on "Turning Around Failure: System Triage for Severely Under-Prepared Adults in Higher Education," produced by Knowledge in the Public Interest...

Latest report (April 2011) from MDRC and JFF on the Developmental Education Initiative ...

Update on system dev ed initiative in Colorado...

Tennessee Redesign project (developmental math) site

AAC&U led a project recently called "Liberal Education and America's Promise" and in the context of that project sponsored and promoted some solid research on what they called "high-impact educational practices"; check out a summary of the work on their web site...

For those of you who may have missed it, the National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) hosted a webinar last week called "Pedagogical Patterning: Discovering the Pattern of Developmental Educators”; the archived recording is now available here. The session focused on a 28-month Gates-funded project called Global Skills for College Completion that’s roughly midway through its grant funding, reporting on what they’ve done to date and where they’re going.

from Wendy Hall, Lower Columbia College:
This is an interesting piece on community college issues, trends and strategies. Responses to questions 1 and 2 provide a good description of the issues we’ve been grappling with in the "assessment, diagnostics and placement" work group. There is also an interesting reference on the bottom of page 17 about the “200 institutions” who are deeply into work on developmental education. I’m guessing that’s a reference to the Achieving the Dream schools, but I’m not sure.

Hechinger Report article providing big picture overview of current national focus on developmental education, written for a policy public audience rather than educators per se but with lots of useful embedded links...

A conversation with Lee Knefelkamp from Teachers College, Columbia University, about how considering "adult students" can help us think about critical educational issues for all students. (Full disclosure: Lee was my doctoral advisor and has continued to be a mentor and great influence in my career, so I'm a little biased, but still think it's worth sharing!) Bill M.

Interesting new dissertation by Rosemary Capps on "adult persistence," qualitative study of students in developmental reading class; also see this brief interview in the //Chronicle of Higher Education// ...

This Inside Higher Education article reinforces the discussions we've been having in our "group 1" discussions: all sort of vendors are seeing dollar signs in a very lucrative developmental education market these days; it's certainly worth considering what's out there but we do need to be cautious about the hype and more "one size fits all" solutions...

Internal Wiki Links:

Resources - Achieving the Dream

“Pearson earlier this month released MyFoundationsLab, a spinoff of its popular MyMathLab module. The company is marketing the new product, which is adaptive and covers basic reading, writing, and math concepts, directly to colleges for program-wide adoption in addition to selling to individual professors and students. It says it has already signed up 50 colleges.”

Read the whole story…

WICHE report, April 2011:

April 5, 2011 -- U.S. Department of Education: Strategies to Increase College Completion
The U.S. Department of Education has released a “College Completion Tool Kit” ( designed to help states improve postsecondary graduation rates and meet President Obama’s goal of having the best educated workforce in the world by 2020. Numerous strategies and recommendations for governors are outlined, including the development of an action plan, implementation of performance-based funding, alignment of high school exit standards with college entrance standards, and the use of data to drive decision making. Recommendations also include targeting adults, particularly ones who have had some college but never obtained a degree, and providing accelerated learning options to students to reduce costs. The guide concludes that increased financial resources are not enough to boost completion rates and states must look beyond funding to devise innovative solutions to improve educational and employment opportunities for everyone.

WICHE report, January 2011:

A new issue brief from the Education Commission of the States provides an overview of accountability policies related to remedial and developmental education in all 50 states. Part of the “Getting Past Go” project, “Accountability and Continuous Improvement in Remedial Education” ( argues that the recent national focus on college readiness and completion provides policymakers with the opportunity to integrate developmental education programs into larger state postsecondary accountability systems.

National Center for Postsecondary Research information:
This was a NCPR conference held in fall 2010 with a link to a follow-up webinar
Developmental Education: What Policies and Practices Work for Students?

This link provides policy and practice briefs on NCPR conference topics.

This article discussed the difficulties in teaching basic skills. Keep in mind that the phrase "basic skills" includes all pre-college work, in this paper.

Ø Achieving the Dream

All Achieving the Dream publications and research findings on improvements in pre-college education can be found at

This is a rich source of information and data for all workgroups!

ØCommunity Colleges of Denver have created “FastStart” which allows developmental education students to take modules of difference courses in the same semester. A report can be found at

Ø Getting Past Go – a national initiative provides resources and research on developmental education at

Ø MDRC Research Papers on higher education can be found at

Ø CCRC research paper on an accelerated English program at
And other articles and publications by CCRC on developmental education can be found at

Ø Carnegie foundation publications on community college math students at
And about Carnegie Statway and Mathway at
And videos that talk about developmental math at

Ø SBCTC Website
College Readiness:
Faculty Development and Instructional Resources:

ØDevelopmental Education Initiative

The Developmental Education Initiative consists of 15 Achieving the Dream community colleges that are building on demonstrated results in developmental education innovations at their institutions. Six states are committed to further advancement of their Achieving the Dream state policy work in the developmental education realm.

Just off the press are some impressive achievements from colleges across the state. Please read below for highlights and go to this website for more thorough information.

  • Subject: ATD - Communications Update - Goldmine/Showtime - it's public now:)
After a review of our 2010 Leader Colleges, we identified some great progress against our five indicators. Here’s a taste:
    • Northern Virginia Community College increased its three-year graduation rate by 4 percentage points for first-time, degree-seeking students, from 12% in the 2006-07 academic year to 16% in the 2009-10 academic year.
    • South Texas College increased its three-year graduation rate by 4 percentage points for first-time, degree-seeking students, from 12% in the 2005-06 academic year to 16% in the 2009-10 academic year.
    • Patrick Henry Community College increased its three-year graduation rate by 3 percentage points for first-time, degree-seeking students, from 15% in the 2007-2008 academic year to 18% in the 2009-2010 academic year.
    • El Paso Community College increased its three-year graduation rate by 2 percentage points for first-time, degree-seeking students, from 5% in 2007 to 7% in 2010.
    • The Alamo Colleges increased its success rate in developmental math from 48% in 2005 to 55% in 2009, and in developmental English from 56% in 2005 to 63% in 2009, for first time in college students district-wide.
    • Northampton Community College increased its success rates in Elementary Algebra from 56% in 2006 to 63% in fall 2009.
    • Valencia Community College increased its success rate in six target courses from an average success rate of 59% for the 2005 academic year to 66% for the 2010 academic year.
    • Yakima Valley Community College increased its fall to winter persistence rate from 75% in 2005-06 to 81% in 2008-09.
Knowing that reformers are hungry for more information – and – wanting to cultivate a spirit of transparency and knowledge-development, we’ve taken the time to assemble a new 80-page deckthat gives an overview of some of the interventions taking hold and gaining traction at some of our Leader Colleges across the country in 2010. The deck is not meant to be a final say nor exhaustive, but rather a working document featuring specific examples of some promising, noteworthy practices. The promising practices featured include: college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, cooperative learning, learning communities, and intensive and individualized advising. These promising practices are classified across nine categories, and you can view it all at the links below.

I hope this information is helpful to you and your colleagues. Please spread the word that this up-to-date, useful information is now available, and of course I am available if you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback.

(hat tip to MDC’s Abby Parcell and AACC’s Benny & Tina for all the hard work to help pull this off)


919.968.4532 ext 320

Here's a new report to the Texas State Legislature including recommendations around developmental education (see pages 34-48)--not being offered as a model necessarily, just something to consult and consider as a potentially cautionary tale...

Brief summary of work underway in Virginia around developmental education: