Developmental Education in California Community Colleges

Course-taking patterns, policies, and practices in developmental education in the California Community Colleges is a study recently published by EdSource.  This study looked at remedial course-taking patterns within 107 semester-based colleges. It studied first-time students who entered the system in Fall 2002 and, at some point between Fall 2002 and Spring 2009, enrolled in a remedial writing, reading, and/or mathematics course.

Among the most alarming findings were these:

Three-quarters of those who began in Pre-Algebra and 82% of those who began in Arithmetic neither transferred nor completed a degree/credential within seven years.

51% of students who began in Intermediate Algebra/ Geometry transferred or completed a degree/credential within seven years; 49% did not.

80% of those who began 3 levels below Freshman Composition (FC), and 83% of those who began 4+ levels below FC, neither transferred nor completed a degree/credential within seven years.

Only 21% of those who began 3 levels below FC, and 17% of those who began 4+ levels below FC, completed FC or higher.

Only half of those who began 1 level below FC completed FC or higher.

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