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Jane:  I wholeheartedly agree.  I've long believed that, at one time or another, we've all been "developmental" in some respect; at one time or another, we've all needed "learning assistance."  It may not be a continuum but rather a Venn Diagram (thank you, Dr. Fulkerson!), where in some areas we converge and others we do not.

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jane Neuburger
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 8:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: terminology

Good morning -
In regards to the use of learning assistance and developmental education:
I would hope that the field in which we all participate could either (a) come together on a preferred term (but I do not see that happening soon) or (b)decide to embrace both terms.  When we do not, we divide ourselves into "those who provide learning assistance courses and services" versus "those who provide developmental courses and services".

When we do this, we are divided and more vulnerable.

Rather, we ought to be working together as ying and yang. Who among us has worked with a new graduate student who needed a bit of assistance to become or remain "graduate school course ready"?  Was that developmental, or assistance?  Who among us has worked with the student who "just tested out" of developmental placement to strengthen her skills?  Was that assistance, or developmental?  And how many of us have worked with our own children on homework, 'round the kitchen table?  Was that developmental or assistance?  Heck, who among us hasn't turned for help in some higher-level or brand-new expectation, whether that was  arranging the citations for a presentation or dissertation, preparing the stats, or figuring out how to podcast, use Blackboard, or program the GPS!

Aren't we talking about a continuum?  Was it just an historical convenience to cluster students who needed assistance into workshops (and then courses labeled preparatory, and then remedial and then developmental)?

So yes, for my understanding, the umbrella of "helping underprepared students prepare, prepared students advance, and advanced students excel " captures the continuum, from pre-K to graduate school and beyond.

Collegially,

Jane A. Neuburger
Director, Tutoring & Study Center
NADE President
Syracuse University
111 Waverly Avenue, Suite 220
Syracuse NY 13244-2320
315-443-2005
fax 315-443-5160
[log in to unmask]
www.nade.net
Helping underprepared students prepare,
prepared students advance, and advanced students excel!


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