The Exit Point Issue: Addressing Basic Skills Completion

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Business, Economics
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The Exit Point Issue: Addressing Basic Skills Completion Diana Chiabotti, Napa Valley College David Morse, Long Beach City College

Definitions and Context • What do we mean by basic skills/developmental/remedial classes? • What do we mean by “exit points”? • What do we mean by “acceleration”?

The Issue “Of those students who did enroll in a remediation course, many—29 percent of all students referred to math and 16 percent of those referred to reading— exited their sequences after failing or withdrawing from one of their courses. But a substantial number—11 percent for math and 8 percent for reading—exited their sequence never having failed a course. That is, they successfully completed one or more developmental courses and failed to show up for the next course in their sequence.” --Bailey, Thomas, Dong Wook Jeong, and Sung-Woo Cho. “Referral, Enrollment, and Completion in Developmental Education Sequences in Community Colleges.” Economics of Education Review 29 (2010): 255–270.

The Problem • While Bailey, Jeong, and Cho may identify an issue, they do not examine the causes of the issue. • Others jump to the conclusion that the length of the sequence (number of exit points) is the cause. • Bailey, Jeong, and Cho acknowledge that students who do finish their sequences go on to do very well in later classes, so the system is not entirely broken.

Possible Causes Discussion: What factors or reasons might lead students to drop out in the middle of a basic skills sequence, even if they are passing?

What We Do Not Want • A one-size fits all solution that ignores differences in student populations and local needs. • Solutions driven by reaction rather than data or expertise. • Solutions driven by economics or budget rather than sound instruction.

• Solutions that ignore discipline faculty expertise. • Lower standards.

Strategies for Improvement Discussion: What strategies or changes might local colleges employ to improve basic skills completion rates?

Resources • Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community Colleges. _Review_Student_Success.pdf • Basic Skills Initiative Effective Practices Database • Edgecombe, Nikki. “Accelerating the Academic Achievement of Students Referred to Developmental Education.” CCRC Brief 55 (May 2011).

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