What Advisors Need to Know about Developmental Education Courses

Department Policies/Recommendations:

  1. We have an attendance policy that affects the student’s grade after a set number of absences, depending on the meeting schedule. For example, students who have 6 absences in a 4 day-a-week class lose 2% off of final grade for each additional absence.
  2. Math faculty have agreed that they will not allow students to enter after the 3rd class meeting day. At that point students are too far behind and data shows they do not pass.  Students are advised to sign up for the next half-semester session.  Send students directly to the instructors; the director will not sign students into a class without express faculty agreement.
  3. We recommend that you schedule students for success in their half semester math courses; assume they will pass and move to the next course in the sequence.
  4. At the half semester, math instructors notify students of their final grade since students cannot see them in MyAkron. We do drop students for lack of prerequisites as late as possible to allow time for schedule changes.  We work closely with the advising units on campus to notify them which students need intervention.


There are 3 types of courses:  math, writing and reading.  All are non-credit courses.  They do not count towards a degree, but they do count for financial aid and readmission.   They are not counted in the GPA and a “developmental GPA” is not calculated.

Writing Course

2010:042 - Basic Writing (4 load hrs) - Uses narrative writing to teach basic writing skills.  Does not use the 5 paragraph essay.

Special sections:   An accelerated half-semester section is usually offered.  This can be followed by the half semester English 121.  Meets 4 days a week for a double class period (100 minutes)

Reading Courses (2)

2010:062 - College Reading and Study Skills (4 load hours) - Covers basic reading concepts (finding main ideas, patterns of organization, critical thinking) study strategies (outlining, notetaking, graphic organizers, learning preferences) and vocabulary strategies (word parts and context clues).  Students read 3 college level articles on each topic: addiction, happiness and motivation.  Final unit has student incorporate a synthesis of all articles as they relate to culture.   Each unit test and the final exam include an essay where the student chooses and supports a position.

2010:064-Applied Study Strategies:  Intro to Psychology

2010:064-Applied Study Strategies:  Intro to Sociology

(2 load hours)

For students near the cut score (see placement table); satisfies the developmental reading requirement in only 2 load hours instead of 4 load hours

These are CO-REQUISITE COURSESStudents MUST be enrolled in the content course in order to be eligible to take the course.   Students use the text from the content area course-no other text needed.  Students learn and apply condensed version of skills in 062 to the content course.  Uses reading selections, practice test questions and vocabulary from the content area course to teach strategies.  This is not tutoring or a study hall.  The final is a portfolio demonstrating skill development and reflecting on academic growth.

Math Courses (5)

2010:081-Fundamental Math I (2 load hours)

2010:082-Fundamental Math II (2 load hours)

2010:083-Fundamental Math III (2 load hours)

2010:084-Fundamental Math IV (2 load hours)

2010:085-Fundamental Math V (3 load hours)

Students may start with any course in this sequence based on placement scores.  Students may also start the sequence at mid-semester although we think it is better to start at the beginning of the semester so that the student does not lose the opportunity to repeat a course in the same semester should they not be successful on the first attempt.

Calculators are not allowed in any of these courses.

Students starting with either Fund Math I, II, or III at the beginning of the semester should also register for the next sequential course in the second half of the semester.  At mid-semester we end the first half semester courses a couple days before the second half semester classes start so that students may make changes to their schedule in the second half if needed.  This allows students to repeat courses in the same semester if needed.

All four of the half semester courses are typically offered each half of the fall and spring semesters as well as the summer semester.   We do not plan to offer Fund Math V during the summer.

Fundamental Math I and II cover the same material as the four hour semester course Basic Math I.

Fundamental Math III and IV cover the same material as the four hour semester course Basic Math II.

Fundamental Math IV is offered as both a full semester course (two days a week) and a half semester course (four days a week).  We refer to the full semester version as a “stretch course”.  The intent of the full semester course is to allow the students to learn the material at a slower pace.  The material is covered at the same pace in class but there are more days between classes for the student to work on the material.  There are advantages and disadvantages of each version of the course.  For some students the extra days between classes makes it harder for them to remember the material covered the previous week and other students take advantage of the extra time to study or practice the material.

Fundamental Math V replaces Intermediate Algebra.  This course is much more challenging than the first four courses in the sequence due to the amount of material covered and the pace at which it is covered.  It is intended for students who will eventually need to take calculus and who are unable to place directly into Algebra for Calculus (3450:145 starting Fall of 2017).  The material covered and pace of coverage will be the same as Intermediate Algebra.  However, classes will be much smaller than the Intermediate Algebra classes have been on the main campus and they will be taught by experienced faculty when in the past they were frequently taught by graduate students. Also, the grading scale is more rigorous.  See “Grading Scale” below.

100 - 93 A
92 - 90   A-
89 - 87   B+
86 - 83   B
82 - 80   B-
79 - 77   C+
76 - 73   C
72 -  0    F

Grading Scale (%)

You must pass this course with a “C” or better. 

The grading scale is listed here:

The Developmental Programs grading scale does not contain any grades below a C (other than an F).  This is because a C is required for passing, so a student earning a D would have to retake the course.  However, financial aid does not pay for courses with the traditionally passing grade of a “D”.  To provide for this, only A, B, C, or F grades are issued.  In this way the cost of the second try is covered by financial aid.