This study presents a review of the current literature on best practices in developmental education with regards to program structure and student placement procedures. Each academic year, millions of students decide to pursue post-secondary education. These students choose to pursue a college degree or the credentials necessary to improve their standard of living. It has been noted that many of these students are considered as being underprepared for college-level coursework and placed into developmental or remedial education. Among first-year undergraduates in the United States for the 2019-2020 academic year, approximately 40 percent reported they had enrolled in at least one developmental course. Among community college students the enrollment in developmental courses was significantly higher. The literature suggests that for these particular students, developmental education may offer both an opportunity for academic enrichment and may also serve as a barrier to the completion of college requirements. This review of the literature explains the prevalence and substantial costs of developmental education within the higher education system and highlights evidence-based reform strategies that policymakers, states, and institutions may adopt to improve remedial students’ college completion retention and graduation rates.Currently, individual college or universities have own distinctive developmental education programs. The quality and the outcomes of these diverse programs significantly vary. There is no standardized or nationally-accepted construct used to evaluate these developmental programs. Assessment and evaluation remain to be key trends in higher education, it is critical to have effective measures and metrics that will monitor program and student progress. Additionally, ongoing program evaluation can enable continuous program improvement in order to maximize outcomes for students. The review of literature provided supporting evidence for improving the outcomes of students in developmental education by providing substantiation of the following: 1) using multiple measures to assess post-secondary readiness and place students; 2) compressing or mainstreaming developmental education with course redesign, such as offering co-requisite college-level courses; and 3) implementing comprehensive, integrated, and long-lasting support programs.


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