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Corequisite Support

Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.

Overview

Introduction

Each year, more than a million students begin college in remediation – prerequisite coursework that costs thousands of dollars but doesn’t count toward a degree. For most of these students, remediation will be their first and last college experience – a reality that is disproportionally true for low-income students and students of color. Corequisite Support allows students who need additional support in college-level math and English to enroll in those credit-bearing courses and receive extra help.

Several states have scaled Corequisite Support and as a result have doubled or tripled the percent of students who are completing gateway math and English courses in one academic year. Many lessons have been learned by those who have successfully implemented Corequisite Support, and their insights and resources are included here.

I wasn’t a ‘math’ student before I took this class. I didn’t think I could do it, but I ended up with an A in College Algebra. The support really did help me feel like I knew it. And, if I had to take several no credit developmental classes, I would have run out of financial aid.

Logan

Student, Fairmont State University

Know the Problem

For decades, colleges have assessed students and placed those who don’t achieve a cut score on an exam, like the Accuplacer, into stand-alone, remedial courses they must complete before enrolling in college-level math and English. Unfortunately, access to remediation is not access to college. Few of these students ever enroll in, let alone complete, the gateway courses in Math and English, and only a fraction go on to graduate.

Research reveals student failure has nothing to do with their ability to complete college courses. In fact, one study found that 50% of students placed into remediation could pass a college-level course, if given the chance. It comes down to attrition. Most students succeed in their remedial courses but simply fail to enroll in subsequent courses. Off-track and often out of money, more give up than fail. Consequently, many who might have succeeded stop before they ever actually start college-level work.

Take Action

Where once there was a bridge to nowhere but college debt, disappointment and dropping out, today there is a new, proven bridge to college success – a bridge that is spanning the divide between hope and attainment. With Corequisite Support, students enroll directly into college-level courses and receive academic support alongside their regular classes. Rather than facing a long sequence of prerequisite, non-credit courses, students get up to speed while working toward their degree. Additional, mandatory class periods or customized support in a lab provide academic support “just in time” within a college-level course. Where implemented, Corequisite Support is doubling and tripling gateway college course success in half the time or better.

  • Purpose, Not Placement

    Purpose, Not Placement

    Deploy a comprehensive intake process to discern students’ academic goals, career goals and overall college readiness, helping inform the choices they make regarding meta-majors and programs of study.

  • Treat All Students as College Students

    Treat All Students as College Students

    The default placement for the vast majority of students who may not be optimally prepared for college coursework should be credit-bearing courses with built-in or concurrent support in the form of Corequisite Remediation.

  • Academic Support as a Corequisite

    Academic Support as a Corequisite

    The vast majority of students who require additional academic support in college-level courses should receive it as a corequisite while enrolled in a college-level course. While there are differences in approach, all are designed to provide students with more time on the content and skills that are essential for success.

  • Complete Gateway Courses in One Academic Year

    Complete Gateway Courses in One Academic Year

    Abandon long remedial sequences. Colleges should require ALL students to enroll in college-level courses and receive the support they need within the first academic year.

  • Develop Multiple Math Pathways

    Develop Multiple Math Pathways

    College Algebra should no longer be viewed as the default gateway math course. Instead, it should be narrowly viewed as a preparatory course for programs that require calculus. Rigorous courses in quantitative reasoning or statistics are more appropriate for students in programs of study that do not require calculus.

Implementation Guide

Commit

Implementing Corequisite Support requires buy-in and engagement from faculty leaders – especially developmental education, math and English instructors. Convene these stakeholders to look at the data, including gateway course completion for remedial students and success rates of current reforms, so they understand the problem of student attrition and are encouraged to begin developing new models.

Resources

The Research Behind Corequisite Support

Discussion of existing research and supporting models.

Four-Year Myth

The vast majority of college students in America do not graduate on time, but many more can.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Know the Problem

    Making the case for Corequisite Support requires faculty to understand the data on gateway course completion of remedial students, review research on student attrition, and examine information on the shortfalls of placement exams – including the side effect that many capable students are unnecessarily kept from college-level work. Resources below provide guidance on exploring the problem more deeply, evaluating data and proposing the reform to stakeholders.

    Resources

    Promoting Gateway Course Success: Scaling Corequisite Academic Support

    By CCA's Bruce Vandal

    Rethinking the Role and Function of Developmental Education in Community College

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Generate Buy In

    While it is important to communicate why traditional, pre-requisite remedial education does not work, it is equally important to show examples of corequisite models that have dramatically improved gateway course success. Ideally, the examples would be shared by the faculty who developed and delivered the corequisite models. Examples like the ALP model at Community College of Baltimore and the Structured Assistance model at Austin Peay State University represent programs that have consistently achieved remarkable results.

    Resources

    Is Corequisite Remediation Cost Effective? Early Findings from TN

    CCRC research brief finding Corequisite Support is significantly more cost-effective than traditional remediation.

    Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on Gateway Mathematics Success

    Nevada System of Higher Education

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Create an Action Plan

    Developmental education faculty, as well as college-level math and English faculty counterparts, should work closely with other institutional leaders to develop a plan for implementing and scaling Corequisite Support on their campuses. While faculty will do the heavy lifting of building instructional models, advisors and other student services staff should also be involved in the planning. Often, problems with tracking courses in student information systems, scheduling classrooms, and finding qualified faculty stand in the way of successful implementation.

    Resources

    Montana Corequisite Support Action Plan

    A template to create an action plan for corequisite support implementation

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Act

While faculty tend to want to pilot new instructional models, the evidence in support of corequisites makes a powerful case for taking the intervention to scale on day one. The challenges of maintaining two systems of academic support alone are reason enough to design a corequisite model for scale.

Resources

Corequisite Support - Guiding Principles

Ivy Tech Community College

Montana University Success in Remedial Education - Data Dashboard

Sharing metrics and success rates.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Design the Strategy

    There are many successful corequisite models to choose from, so there is little reason to reinvent the wheel. Instead, focus on identifying and adapting the best model for your institutional circumstances. Keep in mind that the most effective models enable students to enroll in college-level courses and receive just-in-time academic support on the skills students need to succeed in the college-level course. In all models, it is key that students are provided more time on task.

    Resources

    Corequisite Support at Oklahoma State University

    Webinar with Chris Francisco, faculty at OSU.

    Corequisite Support and the ALP Model

    Webinar with ALP's Peter Adams.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Communicate with Stakeholders

    Ending prerequisite remedial education is a tremendous change for many institutions, particularly community colleges. As a result, it is critical that all institutional stakeholders are aware of the change and its benefits. Students in particular need to understand the utility of putting in a semester of hard work in math and English, and that the new model prevents them from engaging in multiple semesters of non-credit remedial courses they would have to pay for and would inevitably delay their time to a degree.

    Resources

    Mathematical Principles Syllabus: Ivy Tech Community College

    Syllabus for MATH 080, a course to support MATH 123.

    Side-by-Side Syllabus: ENG 101 and ENG 052

    Syllabi for ENG 101 and ENG 052 support course, an example of the ALP model.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Implement the Strategy

    Design your reform to scale on day one. With so little evidence in support of traditional prerequisite remediation and such positive results for corequisites, colleges should commit to transform their system of support as soon as possible. Doing so requires an investment of time and resources to train faculty and make changes to advising and student information systems. Research has shown that committing to scale is a more efficient use of resources.

    Resources

    Scaling Corequisite Academic Support, Massachusetts

    Webinar with three leaders who have achieved impressive results.

    Corequisite Support in Student Information Systems

    Loretta Griffy explains BANNER used in corequisite support courses.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Improve

Once implemented, put your team to work examining the student outcome data, surveying faculty and engaging students on how to improve your corequisite model. Pay special attention to how the reform impacts students of color, low-income students and adult students, refining solutions that will close achievement gaps.

Resources

Common College Completion Metrics Technical Guide

Technical Guide describing concepts and data elements.

Corequisite at Scale Data Collection Webinar

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Measure

    Make an effort to collect student outcome data as soon as possible to measure the impact of your reform. Disaggregate your data by race/ethnicity, age and income level. If you have implemented different corequisite models, evaluate the effectiveness of each model with the goal of identifying the model that is most effective.

    Resources

    Common College Completion Metrics Technical Guide

    Technical Guide describing concepts and data elements.

    Assessing and Improving State Postsecondary Data Systems

    By John Armstrong and Katie Zaback

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Refine the Implementation

    Improve your model by surveying your faculty and students, surface teaching strategies that were effective and make changes to ensure that the reforms meet the needs of all students – particularly students of color low-income students and adult students. Also, study the impact of the reforms on retention and subsequent course taking. In math, study whether students are successful in the next math course in their program.

    Resources

    Serving the Equity Imperative

    Policy brief discussing equity data and the role of higher education systems in addressing gaps.

    Corequisite Success Trends at Ivy Tech Community College

    A report of the total enrollment and pass rates in gateway courses.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Sustain the Strategy

    Once the reform has been implemented, scaled and has demonstrated significant improvements in student success, consider policy and investments to ensure Corequisite Support is sustained. Transforming the campus culture is difficult and the tendency is to slip back. Pass policies to codify the reforms for future students. Many states have scaled the reform for nearly all students. Study the mechanisms and policies they have used to achieve the level of scale that results in dramatic improvements in student success.

    Resources

    Texas House Bill 2223: Corequisite Bill

    Relating to developmental coursework under the Texas Success Initiative.

    Tennessee Board of Regents Corequisite Remediation Policy

    TBR's corequisite remediation policy (A-100 Guideline).

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Support Community

Connect with Content Experts

Below are state and institutional leaders from around the country who have successfully implemented Corequisite Support. Use the form below to ask questions and receive expert guidance for your own implementation efforts.

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