Developmental Math Redesign

In North Carolina and also at SCC, a total redesign of Developmental Math was instituted for the first time in the fall of 2012.  The purpose of this redesign is to accelerate learning in order to reduce the amount of time students spend in developmental math courses.  This redesign included streamlining developmental math into 8 four-week sections.  Placement testing allows for students to place into particular sections and place out of other sections.  Each gatekeeper course may have a different requirement for the modules a student needs to complete before placing into the gatekeeper math.  For example, Math 140 requires that students place out of or complete DMA 1-4 (which can be completed in one semester), while Math 171 require students place out of or complete DMA 1-8 (which can be completed in two semesters).  Prior to its implementation in Fall 2011, students spent an average of 1.47 terms in developmental math; however, by Spring 2013 that was decreased to 1.25 terms.  Also, Spring 2013 had 79.2% of students completing their developmental math sequence within one term, as opposed to 60.6% in Fall 2011.  While we are effective with accelerating the program, we also wanted to ensure that students were successfully completing their gatekeeper math courses.

We have been pleased with the outcome of student performance in the gatekeeper math courses.  As the chart displays, developmental math students taking the gatekeeper math courses are completing the gatekeeper math at a slightly less rate (85% non-developmental vs. 84% developmental); however, developmental students are slightly more successful (making at least a “C" or better) in the gatekeeper math (71% non-developmental vs. 72% developmental).  

The redesign of our developmental courses has helped to better-prepare students for their gatekeeper Math courses, with developmental students keeping up to pace with others who were placed into gatekeeper courses. We are always interested in improving the experience of our students and learning ways that support students throughout the developmental education process. Implementing the project was a bit difficult when it came to deciding if the College should use modules or course shells that could contain multiple modules. It was determined that the shells would provide students with the most flexibility to complete their requirements. In addition, working with Financial Aid to insure courses are covered for students, especially veterans, has proven to be more difficult than initially anticipated. As we worked with Financial Aid, we discovered processes to ease the process of registration. Financial Aid also worked with Veterans Affairs (VA) to work on an acceptable course format that would be approved for VA funding. 

ID 15625

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