For a variety of reasons, many students enter college without the math skills necessary to succeed in college level mathematics. This is not unique to Weber State University or other Utah institutions. Developmental mathematics courses are taught at 99% of public two-year colleges and 75% of public four-year universities across the nation, as well as at institutions of higher education around the world.
Developmental education (usually mathematics and English composition) is a crucial element in higher education in order to support state and national goals of creating a well-educated workforce. In Utah's Vision 2020, the Utah Governor’s Education Excellence Commission has called for 66% of Utahns ages 20 to 64 to have a postsecondary degree or certificate by the year 2020. Developmental education provides opportunity for greater numbers of students to gain an education. Many developmental education students are non-traditional students, including displaced homemakers and unemployed workers.
While developmental education is typically considered to be remedial course work, it really is much more. Developmental education takes a holistic approach to educating a student. In addition to math or writing courses, developmental education refers to a broad array of services provided for students needing academic support in college, including college success courses, advising, tutoring and other retention programs. Teachers of developmental courses seek to not only remediate knowledge but also to build learning and success skills that will serve students throughout their academic pursuits.
Weber State University Developmental Mathematics subscribes to the motto of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE): Helping underprepared students prepare, prepared students advance, and advanced students excel.