How Grand Rapids Community College Is Trying To Boost Student Performance

Ann McClure's picture

Developmental education courses have long been a barrier to success for students at Grand Rapids Community College, but administrators are hoping several new initiatives will help change that.

Each fall, between 1,500 and 2,000 students test into developmental courses ranging from basic math – arithmetic, fractions and decimals – to English courses that cover grammar and sentence structure. Passing the courses is essential, but a significant number of students fail or drop out.

But administrators are hopeful a new approach to teaching can help reverse the trend. This fall, the college will expand the number of teachers trained in a technique to help students improve their reading skills.

Reading Apprenticeship is an initiative to help instructors – primarily in developmental education courses – teach students to read better in a particular subject area.

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