Encourage innovation and flexibility in the delivery of basic skills instruction.
Helping students to successfully master basic skills requires a range of interventions, from innovative pedagogical strategies to proactive student support services. The right combination of interventions varies across colleges and across students–there is no “one size fits all” model. In addition, the intensity and timing of interventions needed to help students progress in basic skills acquisition also varies considerably. Despite the significant differences in individual student needs, resources are currently allocated to community colleges to serve basic skills students according the standard FTES funding model which may not encourage innovation in curricular design, support services, or other areas that impact student success.
To allow greater local innovation in the delivery of basic skills, the Task Force recommends developing alternative funding models that would allow colleges to pilot new strategies for addressing the basic skills needs of students. This approach would allow districts to implement new approaches based on student need rather than on the timing and structure of the standard community college funding allocation model. Possible pilot strategies would address such areas as support services, curricular redesign, and improved success at the sequence level, the course level, or both. Colleges would receive funds to provide innovative instruction, not based on students having achieved stated goals.