E.1. 8 Developmental/Student Success Programs
Date Approved/Updated: February 2011
Approval Body: Chancellor's Operations Team
Applicable Board Policy: E.1. 8 Developmental/Student Success Programs
Developmental/Student Success Programs - See Board Policy
1.8.1 Development and Operation of Developmental Education Programs
Students are assessed in reading, writing, and math upon entry to HCC for placement into developmental education courses as necessary. All HCC courses and programs have designated course pre-requisite skills that must be obtained by students prior to course entry. Some students may be exempt from assessment based upon prior scores earned on such instruments as the TAKS, SAT, ACCUPLACER, or THEA.
HCC uses the COMPASS, a computer adaptive test which adjusts the difficulty of each question based on responses to a previous question. This technique substantially increases the accuracy of assessment while reducing the amount of time required to assess students.
HCC requires mandatory placement and continuous remediation for students until they obtain the skill level required for the courses/programs they wish to take. The order for remediation is reading first, math second, and writing third. For more information on placement procedures and scores, see “How do I know what my test scores mean?” found online at: http://sites.hccs.edu/transfers/?page_id=40.
1.8.2 The Developmental Education Council
While developmental courses are taught through the academic departments at the colleges, all developmental department and discipline chairs meet monthly as the HCC Developmental Education Council to ensure quality and consistency of instruction across the district. Other major objectives of the Council are to review progress toward Achieving the Dream and Developmental Education Initiative (DEI) goals and to share results and best practices. Representatives of the Council also meet periodically with peers from the Gulf Coast Consortium of Community Colleges.
1.8.3 Evaluation of Developmental Education
The disciplines of Developmental Math, Developmental English (Writing), and Guided Studies (developmental reading) are all involved in the Achieving the Dream and DEI Grants. For both of those grants, both baseline and progression reports are generated to determine where students begin and how successfully they are able to progress through the pipeline toward college-level success. The disciplines are also required to complete Program Reviews and Annual Assessment/Progress Reports. Finally, the disciplines have begun the process of seeking external accreditation by the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE).
184.108.40.206 Achieving the Dream (ATD)
ATD is a multiyear national initiative to help community college students , particularly students of color and students of low income, succeed academically. Created by The Lumina Foundation for Education, HCC was one of the original colleges funded in 2004 and was named an ATD Leader College in 2009. The primary goals of ATD are for students to: (1) Complete developmental courses and move on to credit-bearing courses; (2) Enroll in and complete gatekeeper courses, such as introductory Math and English; (3) Complete the courses earning a grade of C or higher; (4) Re-enroll from one semester to the next; and (5) Earn certificates and degrees. For more information, please refer to the website at
220.127.116.11 Freshman Success Courses
First time at HCC students with less than twelve semester credit hours of college level work are required to take a college success course at HCC during their first semester of attendance. The two primary Student Success courses primarily designed for the undecided student are:
- GUST 1270 College and Career Planning
- LEAD 1200 Workforce Development with Critical Thinking
In addition, we have three career-focused Student Success courses:
- ENGR 1201 Introduction to Engineering
- HPRS 1201 Introduction to Health Professions
- EDUC 1200 Careers in Education
The college success courses provide an integrated approach to college knowledge and are designed to orient students to the behaviors, expectations, and rewards of college as well as support services. Students are required to identify a college major and file a degree plan upon completion of the course.
18.104.22.168 Learning Communities
A Learning Community is defined as two or more courses in which students co-enroll and in which faculty share learning objectives and activities. Learning communities are designed to provide students with greater opportunities for social as well as academic engagement, the factors identified by research as most significant in promoting student persistence. For more information on how to create and sustain Learning Communities, refer to the online site at:
(click on Learning Communities).
1.8.5 Other Related Instructional Grant Programs
HCC receives several million dollars in grants from State and federal governments that are used to enhance our programs. For example, the Gates Foundation DEI Grant, designed to accelerate achievement in developmental education, the Perkins Grant to enhance workforce instruction and educational equity, and the Houston Pathways Initiative from the Houston Endowment designed to improve articulation of courses and movement of students among public schools, community colleges, and universities. For more information on HCC instructional grants, refer to the online site at: