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Access at Crossroads: Learning Assistance in Higher Ed., D. Arendale   Click this web link to learn about my recent book

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     Access at the Crossroads Blog

    These blog entires identify best practices to increase success for historically-underrepresented college students including excerpts from my book, Access at the CrossroadsClick here to subscribe to this blog.


    Talent developers rather than talent identifiers

    Astin, A. W. (1999, Spring). Rethinking academic "excellence". Liberal Education, 7-18. As institutions seek to compete with one another for higher rankins and ratings by external groups (i.e., U.S. News & World Report), the author argues for a different paradigm for evaluating institutional quality and impact.
    Dr. Astin, former director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, argues that more resources should be invested in improving the learning systems at colleges. Rather than measuring the quality of student freshmen, the focus should be on the value-added experience of the college and the degree to which it has been a "talent developer" of the students. This provides useful language in describing the current and future role of developmental education and learning assistance programs.


    Academic access programs and civic responsibility

    Astin, A. W. (1998). Remedial education and civic responsibility. National Crosstalk, 6(2), 12-13. Retrieved July 4, 2004, from ctsummer98.pdf
    Dr. Astin, former director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, argues that remedial education is the most important problem in education today and providing instruction in this area would do more to alleviate more social and economic problems than any other activity. Astin discusses the history and stigma of remedial education and how higher education has become focused on "identifying smart students" rather than "developing smartness" in all its students. Astin argues that it is for the benefit of society that remedial education, affirmative action, and other programs be highly supported and valued.


    Transitions in developmental education

    Stratton, C. B. (1998). Transitions in developmental education: Interviews with Hunter Boylan and David Arendale. In J. L. Higbee, & Dwinell. Patricia L (Eds.), Developmental education: Preparing successful college students (pp. 25-36). Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.
    This chapter asks two leaders in developmental education to do some future forecasting. Commenting about the role of DE in the future, Hunter Boylan and David Arendale discuss influences on the profession, requirements for success, and a view of expanded missions to promote the cognitive and affective growth of all students.


    Interview with national leaders about college access, Part II

    Damashek, R. (1999). Reflections on the future of developmental education, Part II. Journal of Developmental Education, 23(2), 18-20, 22. Retrieved July 4, 2004 from: reflections.htm
    Interviews were conducted with a number of leaders within developmental education: David Arendale, Hunter Boylan, Kaylene Gebert, Martha Maxwell, Santiago Silva, and Diana Vukovich. The dialogue points to several emerging trends: (a) mainstreaming, (b) removal of developmental education from 4-year institutions, and c) increased professionalism of developmental educators. Mainstreaming developmental education courses into college-level, graduation-credit programs of study fits into the paradigm of learning assistance and enrichment for all students. The participants in the discussion were unanimous in proposing a comprehensive academic support program that would include elements such as a learning center, adjunct or paired courses, Supplemental Instruction, tutoring, student assessment, and program evaluation. Boylan advocates funds for professional development and Gebert proposes faculty, student, and staff recognition whereas Silva includes academic advising, counseling, career services, mentoring, and especially faculty training in his list of important program components. Arendale and Vukovich propose a complete paradigm shift away from the medical model to learning support for all students. By deferring to Maxwell’s (1997) latest book Improving Student Learning, Vukovich gives Maxwell credit for providing insight into best practices based on years of experience and the best research resulting in the recommendation of a comprehensive learning assistance model. the value of such a model is that it is more easily integrated into the academic process because it is understood as service for all students. This model is not burdened by the stigma of serving only the least able students, who, for many academic, administrative, and political leaders, are seen as a drain on the institution’s academic standards.


    Interview with national leaders about college access, Part I

    Damashek, R. (1999). Reflections on the future of developmental education, Part I. Journal of Developmental Education, 23(1), 18-20, 22, 35. Current and former leaders of NADE were interviewed about the future.
    Interviews were conducted with a number of leaders within developmental education: David Arendale, Hunter Boylan, Kaylene Gebert, Martha Maxwell, Santiago Silva, and Diana Vukovich. Each responded to a common set of questions about the future of developmental education. The interview concludes in part II which was published in the succeeding issue of the JDE.


    An interview with Robert McCabe about developmental education

    Callan, P. M. (2000, Fall). An interview: Robert McCabe. National Crosstalk, Retrieved July 4, 2004, from: Robert McCabe is a national leader in the community college movement.
    Robert McCabe, senior fellow with the League for Innovation in the Community College and former president of Miami-Dade Community College is the focus of this interview. Much of the interview revolves around McCabe's newest book, No One to Waste, a national study of community college remedial programs. McCabe employs a variety of arguments for the support and expansion of remedial education.


    Changing language and vision for the future

    Gardner, J. N. (2000). The changing roles of developmental educators. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 31(1), 5-18. Dr. Gardner challenges the field to reinvent iteself for better service in the future.
    Taken from his keynote address to a national CRLA conference, the author argues that developmental educators need to build upon their successful history of service to students by reinventing themselves with new language, programs, and partnerships with a wider audience both inside and outside of higher education. The author brings another perspective to developmental education from his former position as Director of the National Center for the Study of the First Year Experience and a national board member for organizations such as the American Association of Higher Education.

    By late April 2006 a major report will be issued by the Blue Ribbon Commission, a group of leaders in the field of developmental educaiton and learning assistance. This group was inspired by the exhortation by Dr. Gardner to make a critical examination of the field and the way that the current professional associations are meeting the needs of the stakeholders. The group conducted a strategic review by analyzing the strenghts, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This report is a step towards what Dr. Gardner has encouraged the field to do, to reinvent itself for the future. A web-based threaded computer discussion site will be available in late April 2006 to collect comments about the report.