Responding to HB 2223

Some topics or projects dominate our time and effort here at ACC, don’t they?  Those topics vary in origin, but our work occurs in a regulatory environment that reflects legislative action and THECB rule-making, so often our energies are devoted to things that come from legislative action.  One of the recurring foci of my energy and attention is developmental education.   In that vein, I have released a new episode in my occasional series of Webcasts called Academic Transfer in FocusResponding to HB 2223.  This is an interview with Dr. Matthew Daude Laurents, dean of Liberal Arts – Humanities & Communications.

HB 2223 was passed by the 85th Legislature and its intent, as this article in the Texas Tribune tells us, is to get developmental students into college credit courses sooner by mandating the corequisite model of pairing a skills acquisition, just-in-time remediation course with a college credit course.  Here at ACC we have long paired developmental writing with ENGL 1301.  Today our version of that pairing (INRW and ENGL 1301) is called “Comp 5.0” – it’s a total of five semester credit hours and the students get additional time on task as they hone their writing skills.

We also pair INRW (Integrated Reading & Writing) classes with freshman-level “gateway” college credit classes such as U.S. History and Introduction to Sociology.  The goal is to provide developmental students the contextualized reading and writing support that they need to be successful in their college credit class.  Reading and writing in a History class is different than reading and writing in a Sociology or Speech class.  That contextualization is key for students who are deemed not-college-ready based on their reading and writing scores on the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA).  Instead of spending one semester in an INRW class and then the next semester in an English or History class, now these students get the instructional support that they need to successfully complete the English or History class in their first semester.

The corequisite model not only serves our students effectively, it also supports faculty collaboration across disciplines.  Success in delivering corequisites requires that the INRW faculty member and the History (or Communication Studies or Sociology) faculty member work together.  They must communicate about course requirements and expectations as well as about students who are struggling in the credit class and might need additional support or time on task in the INRW class.  To be effective, corequisites must be double learning communities: both students and faculty learn from and with each other.

If you’re interested in learning more, please watch Responding to HB 2223.  This important work is occurring in Math and Developmental Math as well as in INRW and partner college credit disciplines.  The impact of HB 2223 is yet to be fully understood, but early data show that students are much more likely to succeed in their college credit class when it is paired with a developmental class.  Models vary, but the corequisite piece seems to be key for our not-yet-college-ready students.

Next time you see a Math or INRW faculty member, thank them for their good work in helping our students successfully complete their first college-credit class.