ArkADE Mission Statement
ArkADE promotes, through professional collaboration and development, the use of best practices in developmental education.
ArkADE Resolutions on
Developmental Education in Arkansas
Arkansas Association for Developmental Education (ArkADE) is a professional organization of college/university faculty and staff who are committed to the improvement of educational opportunities at all levels of education within our state. ArkADE supports efforts to improve academic standards of achievement at all grade levels and is uniquely supportive of efforts to improve the academic attainment of all college and university students. ArkADE personnel work diligently in their positions as professors, counselors, and support staff to provide opportunities for college students to improve their academic skills and thus improve their chances of succeeding in college. ArkADE stands as a voice for underprepared students who need additional instruction, services, and resources to obtain a college degree.
ArkADE’s support of educational opportunities and funding for developmental education programs at all institutions of higher education is predicated on several factors:
In a perfect educational system, developmental education would never be needed. All students would academically achieve at the same rate and pace and would be on grade level in all skills areas at all times. Unfortunately in our imperfect world, the statistics reveal that this is far from reality. Intellectual and maturational differences will always yield a variety of academic attainments at all ages and grades. The need for developmental education courses on higher education campuses has been and will continue to be a constant source of debate and remorse. Until such times that all levels of education can guarantee success for all individuals completing a particular course of study, attempts to remediate deficiencies will always be needed. Entering college students should never be told that their lifetime learning opportunities have expired by the tender age of 18. National research indicates that 62% of all 18-year-olds enter some institution of higher education. Yet nationwide, only 43% complete a core-curriculum of college preparatory classes in high school. Arkansas is to be commended for the advances made over the last decade in getting students into colleges and universities. The rate of high school students entering college within one year of obtaining a high school diploma increased from 41% in 1988 to 52% in 1996. In addition, 73% of these students completed the college preparatory curriculum.(1) Unfortunately, 35% of Arkansas’ entering college freshmen still require some degree of developmental education. (2) Lifelong learning, including academic institutions which meet the student’s current needs, must be the goal of education in Arkansas.
Education opportunities in higher education institutions must remain open to all. Limiting admission opportunities to individuals based on academic skills levels is another form of discrimination. It in essence develops an educational class system based on academic achievement. Student skills levels should be fairly and adequately assessed, and a plan of action for meeting the needs of the student should be developed. The current system in place provides for this type of assessment and placement.
Many underprepared students are also recipients of federal financial aid. Failing to provide adequate intervention strategies at all higher education institutions wastes these precious education dollars and thwarts the opportunity given to these students. Students who complete a college degree can expect to earn 77% more income over the course of their lifetime. (3) They are more likely to own their own home, pay higher taxes, vote, volunteer in their community, and become community leaders. Efforts aimed at helping a student attain a college degree are never wasted monies, but rather are paving the way for a better future taxpayer and citizen.
Nontraditional students comprise a large percentage of the students requiring developmental education. Most of these students have been out of the academic setting for many years and often need refresher courses in order to become fully acclimated to a college environment. Developmental courses and services in Arkansas provide this essential service for these individuals.
Sources 1) Toward the New Century, Report of the Excellence in Arkansas Public Education Task Force, 1998.
2) Annual Report on First-Year Student Remediation, Arkansas Coordinating Board, February 6, 1998, Agenda Item #27 Documentation.
3) Vice President Al Gore, 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs Teleconference, January 12, 1999.