Florida institutions have to get creative with developmental ed

Dive Brief:

  • Since the Florida legislature banned college from requiring high school graduates to take placement tests before enrolling in college-level courses, schools have had to get creative in figuring out how to serve students who may need more help than they know.
  • Inside Higher Ed reports St. Petersburg College created a new assessment process to inform placement recommendations, and Indian River State College has seen great success with a modular approach that provides additional support for students while they take credit-bearing courses, like corequisite remediation.
  • Indian River is also participating in the American Association of Community Colleges’ Pathway Project, offering students more structure as they progress through their degree programs.

Dive Insight:

Community colleges in Florida have been hit with the legislature’s double-whammy of banning required developmental education and the institution of a performance-based funding system that ties a college’s state allocation to the success of its students. More than half of all states have performance-based funding models, a shift from a historical practice of allocating state dollars based on how many students individual colleges enroll. In general, this is expected to encourage schools to spend more time and money ensuring the students they enroll have a good chance of succeeding.

The legislative ban on required developmental education courses was instituted because of the dismal outcomes for students who test into such classes. Some believe more students than should be are directed to non-credit-bearing courses, which increase the time and cost of a degree. In several other states, entire systems have shifted to a corequisite model, which gives students the additional academic support they need in credit-bearing courses from the beginning.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed Policy & Regulation
Top image credit: Flickr; COD Newsroom