Aside from its potential benefit to individual students, improved outcomes for students taking developmental education is critical to the success of the Board of Regents’ Foresight 2020 goal of increasing higher education attainment. The first aspiration under this goal is to “increase to 60% the number of Kansas adults who have a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree by 2020.” Like many state leaders, the Board realized that underprepared students must successfully progress through the postsecondary education pipeline if the state is to meet ambitious college-attainment goals.
The Board placed developmental education at the forefront of its attainment goal when it initiated a study of developmental education that calls for “a set of recommendations for redesigning developmental education across the system.” To fulfill this charge, Board staff assembled a Developmental Education Working Group charged by the Board to do the following:
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, composed of fourteen representatives from community colleges, three from technical colleges, and three from state universities, met throughout academic year 2013-2014, dividing into three subgroups dedicated to writing and reading, advising and placement, and mathematics. Their findings were presented to the Board in June 2014.