Barrier 6: Starting College in Developmental Courses
By Dr. Kimberly Van Horne, Ed.D.
(Quotes by students: M=Male F= Female)
Over 2/3 of Bakersfield College students are required to take an Academic Development class to prepare them for college-level courses. Students shared their thoughts about how starting in developmental courses could be viewed as an academic barrier.
- “It sort of made me feel like I was dumb or something” (F).
- “That was kind of a disappointment in the high school and educational system. I felt like they weren’t preparing us for college” (F).
- “I thought I wasn’t going to make it because I was placed in those classes” (F).
Overcoming Barrier 6: Changing Perceptions about Starting College in Developmental Courses
Even though starting in developmental courses adds time to what it takes to accomplish college goals, students viewed starting in developmental courses as an academic advantage because the coursework helped them to become better prepared for their college-level courses. Students said it was important for students starting in college developmental courses (a) to think positive and (b) to understand the advantages.
Students shared thoughts on the importance of thinking positively about placement in developmental courses and about some of the advantages of starting in developmental courses.
- “I'm reading a book…. It talks about the secret of life being positive, thinking positive” (F).
- “I quickly snapped out of it and took something negative into something positive because that was totally not going to discourage me, and I think in a way it prepared me to where I am right now in college” (F).
- “It actually kind of helped me out because there’s people in there that never took lower classes so sometimes we do stuff that’s based off the lower level classes building up, and they don’t have that training (M).
- “I took it as an advantage. It could have been a barrier because there were more classes I would have to take, but at the same time, it’s good because you (have) learned everything once you get to the top” (M).
|1. Competing Demands||2. Financial Issues||3. Cultural Beliefs, Values, & Attitudes about Education||4. Transitions to College|
|5. Failing or Repeating a Course||6. Starting College in Developmental Courses||7. Personal Attitudes about College|