Developmental or Remedial Courses: What You Need to Know

Coursework developed specifically for students who are not academically strong enough to handle college-grade work as they move from high school to University.  The decision to take these courses is typically dependent on ACT/SAT scores.

By offering these courses, less selective four-year colleges and community colleges open their doors to students who could be deprived of higher education otherwise. A considerable number of students, who enroll in remedial courses, are disproportionately students of color, first-generation students, adults, and students from low-income backgrounds. Some failed to receive a sufficient academic foundation in high schools, while others might not have been entered the classroom for a long time and need a refresher on English or math.

As per federal regulations, students might only get financial aid for up to thirty credit hours of developmental or remedial coursework. Students, who want to take these courses beyond the maximum limit of thirty credit hours, might not receive any financial aid for those.

Most universities and colleges offer these courses to help students refresh or learn basic skills. While the credits earned in developmental/remedial courses usually aren’t counted toward degree requirements, these courses greatly help students in preparing for the rigor and pace of college studies. These courses mainly focus on helping students improve academic literacy and math.

College students typically read lots of journal articles and textbooks throughout the academic year. Reading proficiency helps them comprehend the subjects they’re studying and retain the information for tests. Developmental reading classes emphasize understanding and analyzing written materials.

In many college courses, students need to write term papers, and hence, they should have good writing abilities. Developmental English courses focus on grammar rules, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and pronunciation. Students also learn the intricacies of writing and obtain experience using a thesaurus and dictionary. A robust foundation in English can help to bolster students’ speaking and writing skills. Some colleges and universities also offer separate classes for non-native and native English speakers.

Competency in mathematics opens the door to several high-paying careers students may not be qualified to pursue otherwise. Colleges and universities offer different types of remedial math classes to fulfill students’ divergent goals and needs.

Developmental courses are also available to help new students acquire knowledge of college expectations and basic skills. Topics usually include study skills, time management, note-taking, critical thinking, coping strategies, research techniques, career planning, support services, and campus involvement opportunities.

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