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Academic Supports

As institutions implement multiple measures reforms, these initiatives often dovetail with academic supports for students who fall into a range between direct placement into college-level courses and requirements to take developmental education classes. Students in this “bubble” often access additional supports to help increase their likelihood of success.

Campus Practice

Four institutions provide strong examples of using academic supports along with multiple measures reform:

  • Co-requisite support courses: The College of Coastal Georgia received a state grant to develop a co-requisite support course model that provides assistance to students while they are taking their first college-level courses. Co-requisite support courses were designed to provide “just-in-time” support via a variety of delivery models such as tutoring, standard-classroom lecture, or online instruction, among others. The University System of Georgia recommended that faculty teach both these courses and the college-level course connected to them, but institutions made the final decision. Similarly, increases in the percentage of students placed in college-level English courses at Highline College in Washington led to the development of a co-requisite version of English 101 with additional student supports.
  • Skills support labs: Davidson County Community College is one of six community colleges in North Carolina that have developed instructional support practices for students who are placed in college-level courses using the multiple measures process but have a high school GPA between 2.6 and 2.99.  Although the practices vary across colleges, DCCC has implemented skills support labs as co-requisites for introductory math and English courses. All DCCC students may choose to enroll in a lab if they would like additional support; the support lab is only required for students falling into the target high school GPA range. If a student in this target group is not successful in introductory college-level math or English, the support lab must be repeated at the point that the course is repeated.
  • Expanding or extending course time: At Kent State University, math “plus” courses added an extra credit hour to provide additional academic support, while math “stretch” courses were sequenced over two consecutive semesters to provide additional time for students to complete the curriculum.

Lessons Learned

  • Institutions are exploring the use of academic support courses and labs along with multiple measures placement to improve student outcomes. As of summer 2016, the College of Coastal Georgia had placed 66 percent (English) and 55 percent (Mathematics) of students requiring remediation in a college-level course with a co-requisite support. At Davidson County Community College, early data showed that the students with a high school GPA between 2.6 and 2.99 did not succeed at the same rates as the students with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, which was an impetus for the implementation of support labs; however, the number of students involved to date has been too small to determine the effectiveness of the initiative.
  • The availability of academic support activities address the broader range of skills among students placed in college-level courses. The development of the co-requisite course or support lab model provides a third placement option instead of either developmental education or college-level courses. With a larger percentage of students placed in college-level courses in institutions implementing multiple measures reform, the supports allow students to take courses for college credit while addressing the additional skills they may need to succeed in them.