DevEd Design Principles Build Momentum for Scaling, Increase Student Success

Six national organizations, including Achieving the Dream, announced the release of Core Principles for Transforming Remediation within a Comprehensive Student Success Strategy, a joint statement that gives community colleges guidance on creating systemic change in developmental education.

Dr. Karen A. Stout, ATD President & CEO, said the principles, “…hold the key to greater equity and student success…” The principles reflect the common elements of promising strategies found across diverse institutions, including many ATD colleges where faculty have taken the lead in developing innovative approaches. For examples of ATD colleges employing practices that exemplify the new principles click here. The principles highlight practices such as:

  • placing the vast majority of students directly into credit-bearing work with effective support;
  • refining mathematical and other academic content to align with each student’s choice of academic direction; and
  • Helping students stay on track to a college credential.

Dr. Stout recognized faculties’ dedication to improving students’ learning journeys through improved developmental education and praised the principles for articulating what ATD colleges and others have learned over the last decade about what works.  


Here are the Core Principles endorsed by Achieving the Dream and partners. 



Principle 1:  Every student’s postsecondary education begins with an intake process to choose an academic direction and identify the support needed to pass relevant credit-bearing gateway courses in the first year.
Principle 2:  Enrollment in college-level math and English courses or course sequences aligned with the student’s program of study is the default placement for the vast majority of students.
Principle 3:  Academic and nonacademic support is provided in conjunction with gateway courses in the student’s academic or career area of interest through co-requisite or other models with evidence of success in which supports are embedded in curricula and instructional strategies.
Principle 4:  Students for whom the default college-level course placement is not appropriate, even with additional mandatory support, are enrolled in rigorous, streamlined remediation options that align with the knowledge and skills required for success in gateway courses in their academic or career area of interest.
Principle 5:  Every student is engaged with content of required gateway courses that is aligned with his or her academic program of study—especially in math.
Principle 6:  Every student is supported to stay on track to a college credential, from intake forward, through the institution’s use of effective mechanisms to generate, share, and act on academic performance and progression data.

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