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Dinae Vukovich, Gene Beckett, and I met two week sago in Columbus to review a draft
for the D.E. poster that Gene wants to produce.  I was asked to explain to all of you
what changes we thought were needed.  What follows in this posting is the original
draft and then my comments on the changes, which will be reflected in posting #2.
 
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What is "developmental education"?
 
Developmental Education is a sub-field of higher education having a
theoretical base in developmental psychology.  It promotes the cognitive
and affective growth of all adult learners, at all levels of the learning
continuum.  Developmental Education is especially sensitive to the
individual differences and special needs of each adult learner.
Developmental Education programs and services are structured and commonly
include courses, tutoring, learning laboratories, diagnostic assessment and
placement, and academic advising and personal counseling.
 
What are the goals of developmental education?
 
1.  to preserve and make possible educational opportunity for each adult
learner (learner)
 
2.  to develop in each adult learner the skills and attitudes necessary for
the attainment of academic, career, and life goals (learner)
 
3.  to ensure proper placement and thus academic success by assessing each
adult learner's level of preparedness for college course work (learner)
 
4.  to assist all faculty with the learning needs of their students
(faculty)
 
5.  to maintain academic standards by enabling learners to acquire
competencies needed for success in mainstream college courses (faculty)
 
6.  to enhance the retention of students (institution)
 
7.  to provide work force development programs and services to the
community at large (community)
 
8.  to promote the continued development of cognitive and affective
learning theory (the field)
 
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Commentary
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DEFINITION:
 
"Sub-field of higher education" is too vague.  We also agreed that developmental
education is primarily a field of practice, where research in fields such as
developmental psychology and learning theory is applied.  We also dropped the term
"adult learners" because it could be easily misinterpreted to exclude traditional
college-age freshmen.  I had a lot of trouble with the specificity of the statement
"Developmental Education programs...commonly include courses, tutoring, learning
laboratories...."  I have worked for over a decade to get our campus to stop looking at
us as the "tutoring office" and to start looking at us as the learning specialists.  The
services we offer far exceed the boundaries described in that statement, but this is a
poster that I want hanging just inside our entrance as the first detail to catch the
visitor's eye.  We therefore focused more on the issues addressed by D.E. rather than
the actual services provided.  This will make the poster more versatile and more
inclusive of even new strategies yet to be introduced to our field.
 
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GOALS:
 
1.  Changed "adult learner"
 
2.  "
 
3.  Placement alone is incapable of "ensuring" academic success.
 
4.  Possibly offensive to faculty even though they are generally not an overly sensitive
breed.  We simply knocked it out because it was already encompassed by #5.
 
5.  Left it alone; don't make the mistake of assuming that we are only talking about
entry-level courses!  This one covers even Supplemental Instruction and the Triesman
model.
 
6.  Left it.  Is "enhance" a strong enough word, though?
 
7.  Dropped it.  If some communities recognize the resource represented by our
professionals, so be it and more power to them.  Even better, some institutions may be
able to afford the staff and resources needed to provide such programs.  This will never
be an emphasis of our program, and has nothing to do with our mission as determined
by our institution.  It does not define our field, either.  Remember, we want this poster
to stick to any program's wall.
 
8.  Left it.
 
Bet you can't wait to read #2 now!  Did we miss anything?  Personally, I still would like
to stick the word "metacognitive" in there somewhere just because it's burning a hole
in my dictionary.
- Jim Melko