October 2000–November 2006
This case study, conducted within CCRC's National Field Study of Community Colleges, investigated policy and instruction for boosting academic preparedness in 15 community colleges across the country. Findings were based on interviews with faculty, administrators, and students; examination of instructional materials; classroom observations; and institutional data.
The study found high levels of academic difficulty across the sites and identified challenges for specific subgroups of developmental students—for example, low motivation among younger students and low self-confidence among older students. Completion rates for developmental education were low. There was little centralized organization of developmental education. An evident softening of state and institutional policy appeared to lead to fewer placements in developmental education.
This study was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.