A Cost-Effective Change
When system leaders consider implementing developmental education reforms, one question that arises is: Will this change be cost-effective? The answer to this question can influence whether systems adopt reform these efforts or not. One course structure that leaders consider for its financial efficiency is co-requisite remediation. This structure, which replaces traditional developmental education courses with a combination of entry-level college math and English courses and academic support, has been found to be cost-effective.
In Tennessee, the implementation of co-requisite course support resulted in lower average cost per successful student in both math and English courses. Under the prerequisite—or developmental education model—the average cost per student for 400 new students placed into developmental math is $7,720 per successful student; under the co-requisite model, the average cost drops to $3,840. Changing from prerequisite English to the co-requisite model also resulted in lower costs: $3,750 (under the pre-requisite model) versus $3,350 (under the co-requisite model) per successful student. This highlights one benefit of co-requisite remediation: lower average cost per successful student.