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‘College Completion – Focus on the Finish Line’ white paper published by the National Center for Developmental Education

By University Communications

BOONE, N.C.—“College Completion – Focus on the Finish Line,” a white paper designed to help educators improve community colleges, has been published by Appalachian State University’s Dr. Hunter R. Boylan, director of the National Center for Developmental Education, Barbara Calderwood, managing editor of the Journal of Developmental Education, and Dr. Barbara S. Bonham, professor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies.

The paper highlights three phases that are critical to the success of community college students:

  • Improve the quality of teaching and learning in community college classrooms;
  • Fully integrate courses and student support services;
  • Expand the connections between community colleges, public schools and community services.

The authors assert that to create conditions for successful completion of educational programs there must be a coherent holistic approach to the physical and material needs of students in addition to their academic needs.

This paper is a call to institutions to re-evaluate how they are fulfilling their missions and to consider providing a fully integrated support structure fundamental to students’ success, versus viewing developmental education as an add-on.

To access the white paper, visit

To read a review of the paper by Katherine Mangan, published in The Chronicle of Higher Education on March 1, visit

About the National Center for Development Education

The National Center for Developmental Education (NCDE), located in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education, provides research, professional development and technical services for developmental educators. NCDE publishes the Journal of Developmental Education (JDE), the official publication of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE), and coordinates the Kellogg Institute held at Appalachian each summer.

About Appalachian

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.