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A national public policy initiative to improve developmental studies in postsecondary education

MI: Developmental Education Costs State $28 million

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The Detroit Free Press has this article on the high percentage of Michigan high school graduates who require developmental education. It focuses on both the challenges at the K-12 level and the strategies being implemented to create greater collaboration between high school and community colleges. It cites Bob Wise from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The Alliance has been very outspoken on the cost of developmental education and has released a report called Paying Double. The article talks about how the cost of remedial education is a problem for a state with such budgetary problems as Michigan.

The Auditor General in Michigan recently conducted this study of developmental education. The study is consistent with many developmental education reports in that it primarily focuses on who is participating in developmental education, not how well they do. Michigan community colleges, when compared to other community college system across the country, have a fairly low percentage of students in developmental education. It would be interesting to explore in more depth why Michigan has lower participation rates and more importantly what that means for their college completion rates.

The article cited several individual efforts to connect high schools and community colleges to conduct early assessment and intervention strategies. Change on a large scale will be difficult for Michigan. The lack of a state higher education agency and community college system will mean that tasks such as gathering systematic data and developing large scale policy change will be more challenging than for states that have statewide systems in place.

Check out our database of state reports on developmental education to see who is gathering good data on developmental education.

This editorial in the Detroit Free Press makes the case that because community colleges are the main access point to higher education in Michigan and therfore should be the primary provider of developmental education – the state should provide community colleges the financial support they need to fulfill that mission.