NW-SCC serves students who come from a variety of academic backgrounds, and the Developmental Studies Division specifically serves those who need to strengthen foundational skills or take a refresher course as they begin their college careers. No matter the level of preparation, all students bring to college important life skills, experiences, and strengths that are vital to college success.
The Developmental Math Program adopts the emporium model of instruction for developmental mathematics courses (Basic Mathematics, Elementary Algebra, and Intermediate Algebra). This model replaces the traditional face-to-face lecture format with an interactive experience that requires students to master mathematics concepts before continuing through the course. The Developmental Math Program utilizes a computerized, internet-based program in conjunction with the College's Math Success Center to offer students on-demand assistance and a personalized mode of instruction. Students are able to fast track through their transitional mathematics courses and often complete more than one course in a semester.
English & Reading
The Developmental English Program seeks to prepare students for the writing and analytical tasks they will encounter in the next course in the developmental writing sequence or in transfer-level writing courses.
The Developmental Reading Program seeks to assist students in developing reading strategies and critical reading skills necessary for success in other reading-intensive courses. It also addresses diverse educational needs and helps empower learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful life-long readers and critical thinkers.
To assist students who place into three developmental courses based on their COMPASS placement scores, the Developmental Studies Division offers a developmental learning community. Trained transitional advisors help students register for a full load of classes, including a math, English, reading, and 3-hour student success course. This 3-hour student success course is designed to foster community among students, yet still deliver information to students on learning styles, test-taking and note-taking skills, money and time management, critical thinking, and other developmental student success course content. The instructors of the three subject areas team-teach the student success course while serving as mentors and encouragers to the learning community students.
Northwest-Shoals Community College is the first college in the state of Alabama to accelerate developmental English students using the Baltimore ALP Acceleration Model. Students who score between 55-61 on the COMPASS English placement test are offered the chance to enrolled in the freshman, college-level English course instead of a transitional course, thus allowing these students to bypass the transitional English course sequence and a semester of English. These students also take a 1-hour supplemental English course to support their success and development as English students.
Developmental Studies Chairperson / Instructor
Math Success Center Coordinator