Practitioner Perspectives on Implementing Developmental Education Reforms: A Convening of Six Community Colleges in Texas
Dec 3, 2018
This report describes the implementation of integrated reading and writing corequisites — a reform to developmental education that accelerates students into college-level courses, while providing academic support in the same semester. It describes the different types of corequisites being implemented across Texas community colleges, identifies challenges with implementation, and reports on strategies that were helpful in overcoming these challenges.
Many students who enter community colleges are underprepared in reading, writing, and/or mathematics. Colleges typically require students who are not college-ready to enroll in developmental education, which has traditionally consisted of a series of subject-based courses for students to complete prior to entering college-level courses. However, evidence indicates that traditional approaches to developmental education were not working for many students. In response to this troubling evidence, states and higher education institutions across the United States are rethinking the way they address college readiness.
This report focuses on the corequisite implementation experiences of Texas community colleges in fall 2016. Authors provide background on recent developmental education reforms in Texas and across the nation and describe their rigorous experimental study of integrated reading and writing corequisites in Texas. Then, they describe early implementation findings drawn from interviews and survey data collected from faculty and administrators at 36 community colleges in Texas. The findings indicate that Texas community colleges are implementing a range of different types of corequisite models, and an appendix details wide-ranging decisions on design and implementation. The report also documents four types of challenges colleges have faced in implementing corequisites: lack of stakeholder buy-in, issues with scheduling and advising, limited instructional preparation and support, and uncertainty around state policy. After describing these challenges, the authors discuss strategies reported by institutions as helpful in avoiding or overcoming these challenges. Finally, the report concludes by reflecting on these early findings and their implications for the developmental education reform movement.