Developmental Education

Developmental, or remedial, education is a second chance intervention designed to help equip underprepared students with the skills required to undertake college-level coursework. Developmental education consists of structured courses in reading, writing, and mathematics. Typically, students are placed into developmental courses based on Scholastic Aptitude Test, American College Test, college placement test scores, or completion of college coursework in the subject. Developmental education is not new to U.S. higher education—or indeed to higher education globally—and neither is the contentious debate surrounding it.

Research and reform efforts of the 2000s and 2010s have ushered in a new era in the history of developmental education. The college completion movement and scarce state resources renewed interest in developmental education which sparked criticism of previous research and fundamental changes in ...

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