Developmental Education Overview
The Developmental Education Department provides classes to develop students’ skills in English, reading and math as well as study skills and test taking strategies in SLS 1101 - College Success , a college credit class. The department offers courses designed to improve the academic skills of students to prepare them for success in their college level courses, career fields, and/or the workplace.
Free instructional support also is provided with walk-in Math tutoring in the Math Lab and individual tutoring appointments for a variety of subjects in the Academic Success Center. Online tutoring is also available through RaiderNet.
Successful completion of the developmental requirement is defined as:
- A grade of “C” or higher in each required developmental course and
- Attainment of a passing score on each required developmental exit examination.
Students enrolled in developmental courses may, at the same time, take college credit courses for which they are qualified. In this manner, a student may begin earning credits that apply toward his/her program of study while completing developmental requirements.
A student’s placement test scores ensure accurate placement in Developmental courses. However, some students are exempt from placement testing, although they may opt to take the placement test in order to gauge their readiness for college-level work.
Exempt students are defined by Florida Administrative Code 6A-10.0315 and Florida Statute 1008.30 as Active Duty Military students or students who have graduated from a Florida high shool since 2007 and are not required to take a placement test or take Developmental Education courses. Exempt students who choose to take a placement test to measure their college readiness are not bound by the scores to enter developmental education; however, they may elect to enroll in developmental education. See the Placement Chart below for course placement scores. Any advisor or the appropriate department chair can provide the permission required for some courses.
Non-exempt students whose entry level placement scores are below the levels specified in Florida Administrative Code are required to enroll in the appropriate developmental courses. They must take the placement test and will be placed based on their scores, as outlined in the Placement Chart.
Developmental Exit Examination
The Developmental Educuation Department requires that a student successfully complete a departmental exit examination at the close of each developmental course sequence in which he/she is required to enroll. Accordingly, a departmental exit examination will be administered in each developmental subject area in coordination with the final course in the developmental English, mathematics, and reading sequences. In order to proceed into college credit course work in the subject area, a student must successfully complete both the developmental course and the appropriate exit examination.
Alternative Developmental Instruction
Florida law requires that all students whose placement test scores indicate the need for remediation be given the opportunity to satisfy the remediation requirement through developmental instruction or through alternate instructional options. Examples of alternate options include independent study, non-credit courses, and instruction through other colleges and private providers. Students who elect to pursue one of the alternate options must meet with an Academic Advisor prior to registration in order to discuss the impact of the choice on his/her degree progress.
Repeat Enrollments and Attempts in Developmental Courses
Per Florida Statute, a student is eligible for no more than three attempts to successfully complete a given developmental course. All official enrollments after Summer of 1997 are considered attempts, regardless of the grade received. In documented cases of hardship or extenuating circumstances, an exception to the requirement may be granted. Exceptions must be appealed through the Registrar prior to registration. However, if a withdrawal is processed prior to the close of the Drop/Add period, or if audit status is granted prior to the close of the Drop/Add period, the enrollment will not be counted as an attempt. Students may not audit a developmental course unless advance approval is granted through the Office of Academic Affairs. If a student receives a grade of D, F, W, X, or U in a developmental course, he/she may repeat the course to improve the grade and meet developmental requirements. On the third attempt, however, the student will be awarded the letter grade earned (A, B, C, D, F, S, U, or P) and will not be allowed to withdraw or to re-enroll. The prohibition for re-enrollment extends to any public postsecondary institution in Florida.
Once a student has exhausted his/her course attempts in a given developmental area, the only ways to satisfy the developmental requirement are: a) retake the placement examination and demonstrate a score above the established minimum for that subject area, or b) provide documentation of successful completion of an equivalent or higher-level course at a private postsecondary institution. Students not eligible to re-enroll in a given developmental course may, however, continue enrollment at the college in other developmental courses, or in other courses for which they are eligible. In the latter case, an appeal through Enrollment Services may be necessary to continue enrollment.
3rd and 4th Attempts
Florida Statutes also mandate that after the second attempt in a given developmental course, a student will be required to pay the full cost of instruction (approximately four times the usual matriculation fees) to repeat the course. In documented cases of financial hardship or extenuating circumstances, an exception to the full cost requirement may be granted. Exceptions must be appealed through the Registrar prior to registration.
Alternatives for Students No Longer Eligible for College Developmental Enrollment
Once a student has exhausted his/her course attempts in a given developmental area, the only ways to satisfy the developmental requirement are: a) retake the placement examination and demonstrate a score above the established minimum for that subject area, or b) provide documentation of successful completion of an equivalent or higher-level course at a postsecondary institution.
NWFSC is committed to student success and has developed several strategies for students in this circumstance. The student should work closely with an Academic Advisor to identify alternatives for which he/she is eligible and to develop a plan for continued study. These strategies are also appropriate for an individual who is subject to the full cost requirement and is unable to afford the increased cost of enrollment.
- The student may continue enrollment in other appropriate developmental courses, or continue enrollment in other appropriate developmental and college credit courses and pursue one of or a combination of the following strategies. After an appropriate skill-building effort, the student may then retake the placement exam.
- Enroll in an appropriate alternate developmental course in the subject area
- Enroll in an adult basic education class(es) to build skills in the given area
- Pursue individualized study in the Academic Success Center and/or Math Lab to build skills in the given area
- Work with a college tutor to build skills in the given area
- Enroll in a college non-credit basic skill refresher course in the given subject/skill area
- Attend a Skill Refresher Workshop(s) in the given subject/skill area
- The student may consider a revised program of study which does not carry a developmental requirement. The college offers several college credit and vocational certificates for which placement testing and developmental instruction are not applicable. Students pursuing an A.S. degree may wish to change to a companion college credit certificate which offers the technical skills needed for employment. After completion of the certificate courses, the student may acquire sufficient skills to perform better on the placement examination and eventually progress to an associate degree program of study. See the “Certificates ” section of this catalog.
- The student may temporarily “stop-out” of credit courses, concentrate on skill development, through his/her own resources, then retake the placement examination.
- The student may enroll in an equivalent or higher level course in the subject area at another postsecondary institution. Upon successful completion of that course work, the student may transfer the course back to NWFSC and/or re-take the placement exam. Students wishing to pursue this option should work closely with an advisor to be sure the alternate course(s) selected will satisfy the developmental requirement. Ideally, the student should submit a transient study form and secure advance approval. Depending on the nature and level of the transfer course, the student may still need to demonstrate minimum skills through the placement exam.
College and Personal Success Classes
Courses focusing on college and personal success strategies are beneficial to a student’s academic career and can be used as an elective in some degree programs. NWFSC offers the following college credit courses:
- SLS 1101 - College Success : SLS 1101 is a required course for all students enrolled in the first level of developmental instruction of reading, mathematics or English, or for any student that is required to take any two or more developmental courses regardless of the level. It is a co-requisite requirement that must be taken with the student’s first developmental course.
- SLS 1201 - Service Learning Seminar : SLS 1201 is required for Presidential Scholarship students.