Nearly half of all full-time freshmen in an Illinois community college are placed in at least one developmental education course. This is particularly acute for Black students, 7 out of 10 of whom are placed in developmental education upon enrolling at a community college.

What is DERA?

In March 2021, Governor JB Pritzker signed the historic HB 2170. Through the leadership of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and with a broad coalition of advocates including the Partnership for College Completion (PCC), the comprehensive bill centered dismantling systemic racism across multiple sectors, including in education and workforce development, and established the Developmental Education Reform Act (DERA).

In September 2021, PCC was pleased to be awarded a grant from Ascendium Education Group in partnership with the state’s community college governing body, the Illinois Community College Board, to support the implementation of DERA providing resources to institutions across the state to make the changes it requires. The grant is focused on supporting institutions that are interested in implementing a specific type of evidence-based developmental education model – corequisite models of support — which place students into credit-bearing courses with additional, differentiated supports that help them succeed.

Click here to read the first of periodic reports from PCC that will bring the latest and most relevant data to bear on DERA implementation, showing successes, areas for improvement, and future metrics to evaluate change.

DERA Goals

  • Address the widespread structural inequality of community college students placed into developmental education courses.
  • Present examples of how state agencies and private organizations can leverage collective knowledge and resources to support state policy implementation primarily at community colleges.
  • Work with ICCB and other key stakeholders to produce resources and gather state-level data to build context and awareness for the need to reform traditional developmental education models.
  • Employ a comprehensive campaign to build our collective capacity to support colleges in undertaking remedial reform on their campuses.
  • Cultivate a collaborative of statewide faculty champions to build knowledge, awareness, and support for adopting corequisite developmental reform models aligned with the evidence-based approaches.
  • Highlight opportunities that exist for institutions operating within the same policy and legislative ecosystem to work collaboratively toward a unified purpose.

DERA Faculty Advisory Board - AY 2022

  • Dr. Jarmese Sherrod, Richland College (Co-Chair, English)
  • Dan Kernler, President of IMACC (Co-Chair, Math
  • Justin Bernaix, Lewis and Clark College
  • Gail Gordon-Allen, Truman College
  • Dr. George Seelinger, Illinois State University
  • Dominica Blalock, Kishwaukee College
  • Concetta Williams, Chicago State University
  • Jill Salas, College of Dupage
  • Laura Middaugh, McHenry County College
  • Scott Spaniol, Morton College
  • Jessica Gravely, Prairie State College
  • Brian Mercer, Parkland College
  • Danielle Aquiline, Oakton Community College

Network of Partners

Latest DERA Blog Posts

Introducing ‘A Practitioner Manual for Scaling Corequisite Support Models’

In partnership with ICCB, uplifting and assisting practitioners seeking to build capacity for developmental education reform in Illinois at the state and campus levels.

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Upcoming DERA Events

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