Redesigning Developmental Education in Virginia

Our nation can only meet its ambitious college completion goals if students who start in developmental education succeed. Virginia—like nearly every state and, indeed, many countries—has therefore turned its attention to helping more students prepare more effectively and efficiently for college-level work.

“Innovation at Scale,” written by Rose Asera for Jobs for the Future, describes Virginia’s process of redesigning developmental education to increase college readiness and student success across the state’s 23 community colleges and 40 campuses. “Innovation at Scale” was released in October 2011 to the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System’s (VCCS) Advisory Council of Presidents (ACOP).

Virginia has made a significant investment in redesigning developmental education system-wide. By spring 2013, the redesign will transform the way students learn and engage with their colleges.

Developmental mathematics will be taught as a series of nine one-credit modules, with students taking only the modules they need.

Developmental English will be taught as a tiered subject, integrating academic reading and writing.

This case study highlights the key roles of college leaders, faculty, staff, and, in particular, the chancellor and central office of the VCCS as the state prepares to implement its ambitious plans. Data-driven, committed and participatory, this story is sure to be instructive for innovators in other states.

Click here for the full report “Innovation at Scale.”