Developmental Education: What Policies and Practices Work for Students?
National Conference held at Teachers College, Columbia University
On September 23–24, 2010, the National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR) hosted a conference titled Developmental Education: What Policies and Practices Work for Students? at Teachers College, Columbia University. The conference presented the latest high-quality research on developmental education and provided an opportunity for practitioners and researchers to discuss the implications of this research for future practice, policy, and continued study.
Martha Kanter, U.S. Under Secretary of Education, gave the opening address. Dr. Kanter urged conference participants to strengthen the link between research and practice, since the nation’s ability to meet President Obama’s 2020 goal for associate and bachelor’s degrees will heavily depend on the effectiveness of community colleges.
Thomas Bailey, director of CCRC and NCPR, hosted the conference, which consisted of four panel sessions focusing on: (1) the overall effectiveness of developmental education; (2) assessment and placement practices; (3) innovative programs such as summer bridges, learning communities, I-BEST, and supplemental instruction; and (4) pedagogy and classroom strategies. Presenters included Bridget Terry Long, David Conley, Norton Grubb, and other national experts, as well as researchers from NCPR partner institutions—the Community College Research Center, MDRC, and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.
The closing address was given by John Easton, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Easton discussed the organizational context of reform, highlighting the qualities that effective schools have in common, such as strong leadership and use of data to improve programs and services.
Videos of the conference presentations are now available. A follow-up webinar, to take place later in the month, will allow participants to continue discussions that arose at the developmental education conference. More information is available on the NCPR website.