More questions about moving developmental courses to community colleges

I have been thinking more about my previous blog posting about Ohio's decision to join a growing list of other states with eliminating developmental-level (they call them "remedial") courses at four year institutions. I posted that message to a listserv populated by people who either teach those courses or are in another role in the field of learning assistance. Some have commented community colleges may do a better job or the shift to the 2 year is good. As someone who spent his first decade in community colleges, I understand their point. We often prided ourselves as able to devote more energy and attention to teaching than our counterparts at four-year institutions who also had heavy responsibilities for reserach, grant acquistion, and publishing.

A few questions to consider about passively watching state and institutional policies lead in that direction.

  1. Why can't four year schools do the job? Who has more resources?
  2. Why would we not hold four year institutions to the same if not much higher expectations than two-year institutions? I seem to remember a quote from President Kennedy about the decision to place a person on the moon, "we don't do this because it is easy, but because it is hard."
  3. Is this issue really about effectiveness of DE courses and the best venue for them, or just another opportunity for the four year colleges to shift financial burden to the often modestly funded community colleges so they can invest in better skyboxes at the stadiums and pay more outlandish salaries to the CEOs?
  4. Is this issue about best place for DE courses to be offered or is this part of the historic movement to get "those" students off the campus so as not to contaminate the "best and brightest" and negatively impact their national rankings since the DE course takers may have lower ACT or SAT scores?
  5. What happened to the REQUIREMENT that all land grant institutions be open for the children of state residents? I don't remember any exemptions passed by Congress on this historic federal legislation?
  6. Why was it the norm for colleges in America in the 1700s through much of the last century to offer DE courses but now things have changed? Could it be the change in demographics for who needs one or more DE courses due to poorly funded public schools or returning to college?
  7. Finally, whatever happened to choice in America? Why should our children and young people not have the opportunity to begin their education wherever they want, especially with the public four year colleges we support through our ever increasing tax dollars?

What do you think? Please post a reply below and lets keep up the conversation.