Academic journal article Community College Enterprise

Remarks from the Editor

Academic journal article Community College Enterprise

Remarks from the Editor

Article excerpt

The efforts to rework and reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965 have put considerable focus on colleges and universities, but most of the attention has been focused on the structural and reporting requirements of institutions. While important, these efforts pay no attention to the central questions regarding learning and teaching. College faculty, staff, and administrators need to be the leaders on these fronts. Our current issue of The Enterprise offers up a few prime areas of investigation.

One of the areas of growing concern among college administrators and political leaders has centered on the matter of developmental course offerings. Numerous reports have pointed to the large number of students who are ill-equipped for college learning materials and need some form of remediation. However, such remediation slows their progress to degree and students can become frustrated by the time, energy, and resources needed to obtain prerequisite skills and knowledge. As such, there have been bold assertions to remove most of the developmental offerings available while others have suggested different learning support structures.

The first essay in the current issue takes a close look at the literature surrounding developmental offerings in online math courses. Sandra Lee Coleman, Susan Troncoso Skidmore, and Nara M. Martirosyan explore the effectiveness of online instructional offerings for developmental mathematics courses. Drawing upon ten years' worth of research studies, the authors highlight and recommend myriad institutional and classroom structural elements that will enhance the learning experiences of the students. If successful, these steps should serve to improve retention rates amongst this cohort too.

Building on the themes of online learners, Sandra Calemme McCarthy's At Issue feature attempts to examine the usage of at least one structural resource, the library, amongst this learning community. Specifically, her essay looks at library access rates amongst online learners. She concludes that there is a positive correlation between academic success and remote library access. While the focus of this research is broader than students in developmental course offerings, her findings fit nicely with the aforementioned suggestions for improving the online learning of developmental math students. A broader research study on these topics would be an excellent topic for further exploration. Such information could help instructors and administrators properly allocate their resources to those learning supports that are utilized and effective.

A long standing assertion regarding student success has rested upon the argument that there exists a positive correlation between attendance and overall academic success. As such, many syllabi and college policies seek to promote and require classroom attendance. …

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