Developmental Education Initiative

DEI is a state-policy initiative to redesign the NCCCS developmental education curricula, accelerate student completion, implement diagnostic assessments, increase the number of students who successfully complete developmental education and enroll in college-level courses, and implement supporting policies.


Developmental Math Modules (DMA) Implementation

The one-year implementation period for the DMA math modules began Summer 2012 and continues through Summer 2013, with all colleges implementing the new curriculum by August 2013.At the System Conference in October 2012, there were many sessions led by colleges that are using the new curriculum, as well as a presentation by College Board regarding the new diagnostic assessment.In addition, the System Office’s Student Services team released the Emerging Practices Developmental Math Guide that profiles how three pilot colleges initially implemented the new curriculum. Instructor toolkits for each module are available through the Virtual Learning Community.  Shells to support customized developmental math courses have been released for Fall 2013 enrollment.  

Developmental English and Reading (DRE) Redesign

The DEI English and Reading Task Force comprising 18 faculty members from across the state met almost biweekly from January 2012 to June 2012. The faculty task force recommended replacing the current developmental English & Reading sequence with three "mini-mester" (8 week, 3 credit hour) courses of integrated English and reading courses using the prefix DRE -- Developmental Reading & English.  For those students near college ready, colleges would have the option to co-requisite the highest level developmental course with a college credit bearing course (but not ENG 111).   Or, as an alternative to the highest level DRE course, colleges will have the option to offer a two credit hour co-requisite paired with English 111.  The Curriculum Review Committee approved the DRE courses in January 2013.  All colleges may begin using the new curriculum starting Summer 2013, and must use the new courses by Fall 2014.

Assessment and Placement

In April 2012, the State Board approved a contract with College Board to create diagnostic assessments to accompany developmental curriculum redesign.  In June 2012, the System Office and College Board convened a team of math faculty from across the state to review sample test items for the new NC Diagnostic Assessment and Placement test (NC DAP).  Standards setting took place in February 2013.  College Board conducted regional training for the NC DAP in March 2013, and the assessment will be released in April 2013.   Since developmental English/Reading redesign is still underway, colleges have the option to choose among the three currently approved placement tests for English/Reading until the new diagnostic assessment for English/Reading is available.

In addition, based on research from the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University’s Teachers College, the DEI State Policy Team and its Multiple Measures committee drafted a new placement policy that takes into account recent high school graduates’ high school grade point average.  The State Board of Community Colleges approved the Multiple Measures for Placement policy on February 15, 2013. A webinar on the CCRC research and its implications was held Sept. 23rd, 2012.  To view an archive of the webinar, please visit: Initiative

Most Recent Activity Report

April 2014 Activity Report

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 11:18

In January 2014, the State Board approved a recommendation from College Board, the System Office, and a team of Math faculty and Student Services administrators for a new cut score of 7 for the Math portion of the NC DAP exam.

The State Board adopted an agenda item in March making technical corrections to the Multiple Measures policy related to 1) new ACT college readiness benchmarks and 2) specifics about eligible 4th math courses in high school that a student must take in order to fall under the multiple measures policy.

Key Values:

Standards setting for the English/Reading portion of the NC DAP exam was held in January 2014 with approximately 50 faculty. 

The new Math portion of the NC DAP exam was released on February 24, 2014. 

In February, college testing, admissions, and advising faculty and staff convened for three regional forums across the state to discuss the upcoming changes to placement testing in NCCCS and timelines for implementation.  Over 150 people from 48 of the state’s community colleges attended.  For more information on the content discussed, please click here.

Next Steps:

A temporary cut score for the Reading & English NC DAP will be taken to the State Board in May.  The results of the cut score’s impact on student placement will be tracked over the summer and adjustments will be made as needed in the fall.

Recent Activity Reports Post date
April 2014 Activity Report 2014-05-06 11:18
December 2013 Activity Report 2013-12-19 12:10
October 2013 Activity Report 2013-12-19 12:08
June 2013 Activity Report 2013-06-28 16:34
May 2013 Activity Report 2013-05-31 16:33
April 2013 Activity Report 2013-04-26 16:33
March 2013 Report 2013-03-28 10:27
Feb 2013 DEI Activity Report 2013-03-01 13:02
Dec 2012 DEI Activity Report 2012-12-31 11:51
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