Redesigning Its Own Success: The Rowan-Cabarrus Developmental English & Math Models

Concurrent Session 4
Blended Research Equity and Inclusion

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC), the 8th largest community college in North Carolina, is no stranger to redesigning developmental education. Over a four-year period, RCCC adapted a state-implemented redesign to better serve Rowan-Cabarrus students. In fall 2022, RCCC rolled out its own model, based on 7 premises, they’d like to share.


Dr. Jenny Billings is the Chair of English and Study Skills at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in NC. Billings earned a BA in English from Wake Forest University ('06), an MFA in Creative Writing/English from Queens University of Charlotte ('10), and an Ed.D in Community College Executive Leadership from Wingate University ('17). Since joining Rowan-Cabarrus in January 2011, Billings has been awarded the 2013 Excellence in Teaching, the 2014 Outstanding Employee, the 2016 OLC Digital Learning Innovation, Cengage Faculty Partner, and the 2019 Innovator of the Year 'Star Act'. She was also a top-10 finalist for the 2018 Bellwether Award.

Extended Abstract

North Carolina, and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, are no strangers to Developmental English and Math redesign. In fall 2018, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, the 8th largest community college in the state, served as the beta pilot for the Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence (or RISE) redesign. Over a four-year period, the College adapted the model to best serve Rowan-Cabarrus students. In fall 2022, Rowan-Cabarrus rolled out their personalized developmental model for English and Math. This model was formulated around the following premises: 1) Developmental education is not a one-size-fits-all model and should be catered to the individual institution, 2) Institutions should be allowed to choose their own technology and supporting resources, 3) Good professional development starts at home, 4) Developmental is a direct pathway to Curriculum, it is not a pool in which students continue to swirl, 5) Less is more (we must focus such courses on the foundational skills that are needed and can be built upon, but remove those that are covered in higher-sequenced courses), 6) Find the barriers to student success and eliminate them, and 7) Locate faculty leads that can produce and maintain faculty buy-in. In this session, join Dr. Jenny Billings, English Chair, and Melissa Reid, Mathematics Chair, to learn about their vision, model, and recent success.