Research: Extensive research, cited both in Boylan’s What Works: Research-Based Best Practice in Developmental Educationand in Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success, suggests that centralized developmental education programs are more successful than decentralized programs. Centralization is characterized by developmental courses and services that are highly coordinated, housed in a single department or program, and headed by a chair or director.
The CQIN/APQC study, as summarized by Boylan in What Works, found that although the overwhelming majority of exemplary developmental education programs were centralized, exemplary programs that were decentralized exhibited the same high level of integration and communication among courses and services, as well as having an administrator who was either officially or unofficially responsible for campus-wide coordination of developmental education activities. In support of this point, Boylan also references an analysis of data from the National Study of Developmental Education, which found that highly coordinated decentralized programs produced outcomes comparable to centralized programs, including comparable student success rates in developmental courses.
The literature review in Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success identifies the following additional traits of a highly coordinated decentralized effort: regular meetings of all those involved in the delivery of developmental courses and services; articulation of common goals and objectives for all developmental courses and services; and the integration of developmental courses and academic support services.
Effective practice A.3 in Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success emphasizes the need for a centralized or highly coordinated organization for developmental education programs.
Our practice: LMC has a decentralized developmental education program that is coordinated by a faculty member (or a team of faculty members) at a total of 0.50 release time. This Developmental Education (DE) Coordinator oversees the work of two faculty DE Leads, one in English and the other in math, both of whom receive 0.50 release time to coordinate professional development and assessment activities related to developmental education in their respective departments.
The DE Coordinator also facilitates the work of the Developmental Education Committee. This committee is charged with the following responsibilities:
(1) Coordinate the assessment of the Institution-level Student Learning Outcomes of the Developmental Education Program using direct measures of learning, measures of achievement, and qualitative measures;
(2) Support proper placement of students into the developmental course sequences in English and math by implementing and supporting best practice in placement as defined by research in the field of Developmental Education, coordinating cut-score validation studies, and monitoring the impact of prerequisites;
(3) Support curriculum development and improvement that is aligned with the DE SLOs, responds to assessment results, and integrates the principles of best practice as defined by research in the field of education;
(4) Coordinate professional development, such as Teaching Communities, for DE faculty that responds to assessment results and supports faculty in their efforts to effectively teach to the DE Program SLOs;
(5) Coordinate integration of precollegiate instruction and academic support services in order to respond to assessment results and implement effective practice in the integrated use of academic support services, such as tutoring, lab services, supplemental instruction, the Reading and Writing Center, counseling services, and learning communities.
To coordinate the integration of support services with instruction, the Developmental Education Committee is composed of a wide range of faculty, staff, and managers:
Coordinator(s) of the Developmental Education Program
Developmental Leads in math, English, and ESL
Reading and Writing Center Coordinator
Tutor Coordinators from math and English
Representative from the Counseling Department
Senior Dean of Instruction
Senior Dean of Student Services
The Math Department also has a Developmental Math Committee, which meets weekly to coordinate assessment, professional development, support services, and curriculum development for developmental math courses.
Recent Basic Skills Committee Minutes
FA 04: Aug. 31, Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 3
*Starting Spring 2010, LMC will use a software system (CLASS) for course-level reports. This infomation, as well as program-level information, is now stored in LMC's intranet (lmcsharepoint). Please email us for information.
Engage, Challenge, and Support
Data into action 2006
BASIC SKILLS INITIATIVE
BSI workshop summaries