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CASSL

Basic Skills

Title: Exponential Attrition and the Promise of Acceleration in Developmental English and Math
Author: Katie Hern
APA: N/A
Status: Available

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Title: Back to Basics: Improving College Readiness of Community College Students
Author: Elizabeth G. Hill
APA: N/A
Status: Available

Most students who enter California Community Colleges (CCC) lack sufficient reading, writing and mathematics skills to undertake college-level work. Thus, one of the CCC system's core missions is to provide pre-collegiate "basic skills" instruction to these students. In this report, we find that a large percentage of students do not overcome their basic skills deficiencies during their time at CCC. We identify a number of state policies that we believe stand in the way of student success, and recommend several structural and system-wide changes designed to help increase preparedness and achievement among community college students.

Title: Contextualized Teaching and Learning: A Faculty Primer
Author: Elaine DeLott Baker, Laura Hope and Kelley Karandjeff
APA: N/A
Status: Available

The following report offers California community college faculty a closer look at contextualized teaching and learning (CTL) as a promising set of strategies and practices that can be expanded through the state's Basic Skills Initiative. The report is relevant to a range of instructional and counseling faculty, including academic and career and technical education (CTE), Mathematics, English and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors, as well as to basic skills staff and administrators.

The report is organized into three main sections: (1) a case statement for contextualized teaching and learning that draws on relevant research and learning theory and situates the practice within workforce development, (2) a review of a range of contextualized teaching and learning practices, told from the faculty/ program director perspective, and (3) a set of considerations for community college faculty and leaders as well as funders and policy makers interested in the potential of contextualized teaching and learning to strengthen student success.

Title: Executive Summary: Course-Taking Patterns, Policies, and Practices in Developmental Education in the California Community Colleges
Author: Mary Perry, Matthew Rosin and Kathryn Morgan Woodward
APA: Perry, M.; Bahr, P.R.; Rosin, M.; & Woodward, K.M. (2010). Course-taking patterns, policies, and practices in developmental education in the California Community Colleges. Mountain View, CA: EdSource.
Status: Available

The visibility of developmental education—or basic skills education as it is called most often in California—has increased in recent years. One major catalyst was a comprehensive community college strategic planning process completed in 2004 that listed basic skills as a critical area of focus. Another was an increase in the system's minimum course-taking requirements for the associate degree. These helped pave the way for the state's Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) and greater public reporting of basic skills outcomes through the new Basic Skills Accountability Report (CCCCO, 2009). These policy actions underscore the place of developmental education as a cornerstone of the work and purpose of the California Community Colleges.

Title: Promoting Gatekeeper Course Success Among Community College Students Needing Remediation
Author: Davis Jenkins, Shanna Smith Jaggars and Josipa Roksa
APA: N/A
Status: Available

This report summarizes key findings and recommendations from a Community College Research Center (CCRC) study designed to help community colleges develop strategies for improving the rate at which academically underprepared students take and pass initial college-level (or "gatekeeper") courses in math and English. CCRC conducted the study at the request of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to inform the system's strategic objective of improving retention and academic success for their students, particularly the large number of students who arrive unprepared for college-level work. The study examined student characteristics, course-taking patterns, and other factors associated with higher probabilities that students who require remediation will take and pass math and English gatekeeper courses.

Title: What Community College Developmental Mathematics Students Understand about Mathematics
Author: James W. Stigler, Karen B. Givvin and Belinda J. Thompson
APA: N/A
Status: Available

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