Developmental education is a core mission of the community college, and approximately 40 percent of entering community college students enroll in one ore more developmental math, English, or reading courses. The existing literature recommends several instructional and organization practices for developmental educators to follow in addressing the needs of those students. Despite the availability of these models, however, community colleges--each facing its own unique combination of students needs and available resources--continue to struggle in their efforts to effectively educate underprepared students and help them move onto and succeed in college-level courses.
This volume of New Directions for Community Colleges offers a realistic assessment of the difficulties community colleges face in attempting to assist students who share the common characteristic of being underprepared for college-level work, but whose backgrounds, academic preparation, motivational levels, and goals are extraordinarily varied. The authors discuss the dangers of isolating developmental students, faculty, and curriculum from the broader academic structure of the college. They provide examples of successful programs, and offer a range of recommendations that college administrators can adapt to their campuses and student populations. They also call for additional research on developmental education, especially systematic assessments of existing programs and qualitative research that captures the perceptions of the students for whom these programs are designed.