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Home > Faculty & Staff > Teaching Support > Achieving the Dream > Developmental Education

Developmental English

About the Redesign of Developmental English

In the previous developmental English sequence, students took separate writing and reading courses, but because of lower than desired success rates in these courses and poor persistence of developmental students, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) redesigned the sequence with the aim of ensuring better student outcomes. Using research data, the statewide Developmental Education Task Force (DETF) redesigned developmental English to integrate reading and writing skills into the same course and to shorten the time students spent moving from a non-credit developmental class to a credit-bearing English class.

The VCCS also standardized the course sequence and student learning outcomes for each level of developmental English across the state system. In addition to redesigning the classes that would move students into higher-level academic courses, the VCCS initiated the use of a new placement test (English VPT (Virginia Placement Test) that was specially keyed to the consistent student learning outcomes for each level English.


  • For more information on the VCCS redesign of developmental English, see The Focal Point.
  • View the Developmental English Curriculum Guide, which includes the student learning objectives for all redesigned developmental English courses.
  • For more information on the VCCS redesign of developmental education programs, follow this link to the DETF’s 2009 Report, The Turning Point.