tc columbia

Strengthening Developmental Education Reforms: Evidence on Implementation Efforts From the Scaling Innovation Project

By: Nikki Edgecombe, Maria Scott Cormier, Susan Bickerstaff & Melissa Barragan


In this paper, the authors draw on empirical data from CCRC’s Scaling Innovation project to examine trends in developmental education instructional reform and outline a framework for reform adoption and adaptation. The paper’s findings are based on two qualitative data sources: a scan of developmental education reforms that involved changes to curricula, course structure, and/or pedagogy; and fieldwork conducted at 11 colleges working to replicate high-potential instructional innovations developed at other colleges.

The data suggest that colleges tend to enact developmental education reforms in ways that may unintentionally undermine their potential benefits. The authors present a framework for engaging practitioners in activities that will increase the impact of their developmental education reforms while strengthening institutional capacity.

Associated Project(s):

Scaling Innovation