Dear Colleagues,

An important report from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) relates to our
work in developmental education and learning assistance.  Please read this
report before an upline administrator brings it up in conversation or
requests a quick response in connection with your work.  While I have
disagreements with their findings, it is important for me to keep up with
the WWC and their reports.

-- David Arendale


The following is from the Whats Works Clearinghouse announcement:

New WWC Intervention Report Summarizes the Effectiveness Research on First
Year Experience Courses for Students in Developmental Education

First year experience courses for students in developmental education are
designed to ease the transition to college by providing academic and social
development supports. Although course content and focus may vary, most are
designed to introduce students to campus resources, provide training in
time management and study skills, and address student development issues.
First year experience courses, also called success courses, study skills,
student development, or new student orientation courses, are often linked
with or taken concurrently with developmental courses.

The WWC recently reviewed the research on the impacts of first year
experience courses for students in developmental education and found that
existing research on the practice shows no discernible effects on academic
achievement, progress through developmental education, and credit
accumulation and persistence for postsecondary students. Read the full
report and learn more about the study that contributed to these findings.

This report is one of a series of intervention reports released under the
WWC’s Postsecondary topic area. Previous releases include summary reports
on the existing effectiveness research on linked learning communities,
residential learning communities, and developmental summer bridge programs.
Stay tuned for the next WWC intervention report in this area on first year
experience courses for students in general education. For more WWC reports,


Take care,

David Arendale, Associate Professor

Univ of MN, College of Education & Human Development, Postsecondary
Teaching & Learning Dept, Burton Hall 225, 178 Pillsbury Drive, SE,
Minneapolis, MN 55455; (office) 612-625-2928; [log in to unmask]  Manager, http://EOA National Best Practices Center

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unexpected presents of joy that await us if we do our part and trust God
for the rest.

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