Perceptions of Administrators, Faculty, and Staff Regarding a Redesign Initiative Integrating Developmental Reading and Writing Instruction in a Community College Setting



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Nationally, an increasing number of underprepared students are enrolling in community colleges, and as a result, the enrollment of at-risk students in Developmental Education programs has soared. Community colleges have undergone much criticism for their lengthy college preparatory programs. Often, these programs require students with low placement test scores to endure many semesters of foundational coursework before they can progress to transferrable academic-level study. Severely at-risk students often give up and drop out. States across the country have begun to scrutinize Developmental Education programs, charging community colleges with the task of developing accelerated curriculum models to move students more quickly through college preparatory coursework. The Southeast Texas community college in this study redesigned two levels of existing standalone developmental reading and writing courses
into a two-level integrated reading and writing curriculum, which cut the time to completion in half. This qualitative comparative analysis case study examined the perceptions of top and mid-level administrators, college preparatory reading and writing faculty, and academic advising staff, who were involved in the development and/or implementation of the course redesign. This examination was framed in Kotter’s Change Management Theory, Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory, and Rosenblatt’s Transactional Theory. Four major themes resulted from this study: impetus of change, commitment to student success, trust and confidence, and collective collaboration.