KBOR Developmental Education Working Group Presents Findings

KBOR Developmental Education Working Group Presents Findings

This morning at the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) Board Meeting, Gary Alexander; Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Susan Fish; Director of Adult Education, presented the findings of a Developmental Education Working Group established to:

Assess the level and types of remedial education at state community and technical colleges and make recommendations about: (1) state level policy and actions to promote effective remediation; (2) strategies that may be implemented locally, at the discretion of individual institutions; and (3) appropriate state level goals and local performance measures.

The working group was established in response to a noticeable decline in student successfully completing required remedial education.  The presenters noted that for the 2013-14 school year, of the 23,863 first-time degree-seeking students enrolled in Kansas Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs), 8,877, or 37% enrolled in remedial education, and 1,597, or 18% successfully completed remedial education courses.

The working group was made up of staff representing 14 community colleges, 3 technical colleges, and 3 state universities.  No one representing K-12 education at the state or local level participated.

The following are the recommendations they presented in the report:

Recommendations for State Action

  1. The Board seek funding in the amount of $2.8-3.3 million to support a three-year project enabling institutions to develop, scale, and implement research-based recommendations and best practices.
  2. The KBOR/KSDE Coordinating Council consider:
    • Development by joint groups of college and high school faculty of refresher courses for students identified by the 11th grade year assessment test or college placement test as deficient in mathematics and/or English language arts.
    • Development of a common understanding of college readiness around which to align high school exit and readiness for two-year colleges.
    • State-funded administration of college-ready assessments to all high school students in 11th and 12th grade years.
  3. A study group composed of members of the Developmental Education Working Group, two-year college administrators, and KBOR Data, Research, and Planning staff be convened to develop and recommend state and institutional level performance goals and measures for developmental education. 
  4. A group composed of members of the Developmental Education Working Group, administrators of local Adult Education programs, and KBOR Adult Education staff conduct a study and hold discussions in order to recommend components of an effective relationship between developmental education and Adult Education in Kansas.
  5. Developmental education courses and outcomes be articulated following pilot-testing and implementation of course and curriculum redesign.  The articulation should use a process similar to the Kansas Core Outcomes Group Project. 
Recommendations for State Policy
  1. Placement test cut-off scores and developmental education course content be aligned with the content of a gateway course which is aligned with a student’s chosen pathway of study.
  2. Placement assessment test options and cut-off scores be standardized statewide. 
Recommendations for Local Implementation and Policy
  1. College review and appropriately reise their policies with regard to assessment, placement, and course design to provide students the most effective and efficient transitions from developmental to regular coursework.  
  2. Institutions consider implementing some or all of the strategies identified by the Working Group to accelerate the developmental course sequence and enhance student support services.  
KASB will continue to work towards collaboration with KBOR to ensure that our members are involved in the discussion and the implementation of strategies to improve students’ post-secondary readiness statewide.