Indiana began a developmental education policy makeover in 2011 with community colleges at the front of higher education, workforce, and societal needs. Upon winning a nationally competitive Complete College America grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the program focused on two strategies. First, Ivy Tech State Community College system redesigned the delivery of remedial coursework; and second, the community college created interventions that supported student success. The strategies shortened students’ academic paths to two-year college completion. The Indiana program was called Smarter choices, Faster Completion.
The program addressed the issue that over “…two-thirds of Indiana’s community college students require remediation at an annual cost estimated to exceed $35 million for what are essentially high school level courses (Indiana Business, 2011; State Impact, 2013). Studies are now investigating K-12 initiatives to guarantee that students graduating high school are college ready. Indiana decided to customize the level and type of support rather than seeking a “one-size-fits all” developmental education model. Also, students could move through remedial courses faster, thus saving money and time. Model interventions often focused on math and English remediation including the following:
· Emporium Model of Instruction for math courses utilizing
· My Math Lab software for math instruction
· ALEKS pilot for deducing time spent on problem areas in algebra
· Self-paced online Instruction with tutoring or K-12 math
· Co-requisites where students use an individualized learning plan in a lab setting instructor assistance (see House Committee on Education 2014)
· Accelerated Learning Project (ALP) with small group workshops for writing
· One year accelerated programs.
Indiana has aggressively adopted the co-requisite model that blends developmental education, also known as remediation, with “gateway” courses thus providing students with the opportunity to earn credit towards their degree rather than completing a remedial course prior to enrolling in the credit-bearing “gateway” course. National studies have shown that offering co-requisite remediation can significantly improve success in the “gateway” course, especially math and English.
The first semester of statewide implementation for the three math pathways is fall 2014. Ivy Tech will be in the process of implementing these and other changes through fall 2015.
As Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, Ivy Tech serves nearly 200,000 students each year. It is a key feeder for Indiana workforce development and paths to higher education.
Additionally, the program goals seeks to facilitate a smoother alignment for students interested in pursuing college beyond the associate’s degree, as well as preparation for local businesses and global industries. As of 2014, Ivy Tech reported an increase in completion of pilot English and Math gateway courses interventions.
Indiana Business Journal. (2013). http://www.ibj.com/ivy-tech-system-high-in-grads-low-in-graduation-rates/PARAMS/article/42095
Ivy Tech. “Innovation in Remediation”. (2009). http://nwi.ivytech.edu/web/lcc/presentations/IRIT.pdf