July 24, 2019 Media, Press Releases

Norcross Reintroduces Bill to Reshape Developmental Education, Boost College Completion

July 24, 2019

Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, reintroduced the Remedial Education Improvement Act to make remedial – commonly called developmental – education programs more effective, fair and less expensive. The Act would improve or develop programs based on five reform models that have a proven track record. It would implement these reforms, establish a competitive grant program and allow for the use of federal student aid dollars to support up to two years of developmental education. Norcross was joined by Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-06), TJ Cox (CA-21), Angie Craig (MN-02) and Andy Kim (NJ-03) in introducing the bill.

“Students that require extra training are not offered a fair shot right now and this bill provides a comprehensive strategy to change that,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “We’re working to make developmental education more effective and less expensive, especially for students who may be the first in their family to ever attend college. Every student learns differently – for me, it was a technical training program that shaped my career, while one of my sons just got his MD. We’re all different types of learners and, as lawmakers, we must ensure we’re providing fair opportunities for all students to learn, succeed and end up with a degree and good-paying job.”

“Developmental education provides the foundations for successful performance in college,” said Don Borden, President of Camden County College. “By encouraging educators to redesign their course offerings, with a focus on student achievement, we can provide individualized instruction leading to greater retention and completion rates for all students. A bill that supports teachers utilizing research-based strategies to improve student learning can only result in positive outcomes.”

Developmental education programs provide pre-requisite skills needed to complete college courses and progress toward a degree. Although necessary, these programs make college take longer – and it’s therefore more costly. Remediation increases student debt load, while lessening the chance of degree completion. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the annual cost of remedial coursework is $7 billion.

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