Percentage of students who completed a developmental math sequence within four years
First-time students enrolled in transfer programs in the summer or fall 2004 terms who were referred to a developmental math course
About one-quarter (24 percent) of incoming Virginia Community College System (VCCS) students who were referred to a developmental math course one level below the college level completed the developmental math sequence, while 22 percent of those referred to a course two levels below the college level completed the sequence and 10 percent of those referred to a course three levels below the college level completed the sequence.
Most beginning community college students must complete at least one developmental education course in mathematics or English (reading, writing, or both), and many must complete multiple courses in one or more subjects. Completing the highest-level developmental course in a subject is the final precollege milestone and is often required to transfer to a four-year institution or to earn a certificate or associate degree.
Developmental math courses: one level below the college level refers to Algebra II or higher (MTH04, MTH05, MTH06, and MTH07), two levels below the college level refers to Algebra I (MTH03), and three levels below the college level refers to Pre-Algebra (MTH01, MTH02, MTH09).
First-time college students enrolled in VCCS in the summer or fall 2004 terms had no prior college credits other than those earned through high school dual-enrollment programs. The cohort includes students in transfer and career-tech programs as well as those concurrently enrolled in high school. These students were followed for four years through the 2008 summer term. Placement recommendations were based on students' placement test scores, but 36 percent of the students in this group were missing a placement recommendation in math and were excluded from this calculation.
Roksa, J., Jenkins, D., Jaggars, S., Zeidenberg, M., & Sung-Woo, C. (2009, November). Strategies for promoting gatekeeper course success among students needing remediation: Research report for the Virginia Community College System (full-length technical report). New York: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.