OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Education System

Developmental Education

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the Developmental Education Program is to provide instruction through which a high school graduate who applies for any college credit program may attain the communication and computation skills necessary to successfully complete college credit instruction. Florida law authorizes the Florida College System as well as Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) to offer developmental education courses. The program supports the Florida College System's mission of providing an open door policy for all citizens.

Which students are required to take developmental education?

Recent high school graduates who enroll in college are not required to take developmental education courses. Students who entered the 9th grade in a Florida public school in the 2003-04 school year or later and earned a standard high school diploma are not required to enroll in such courses. This same exemption applies to students who are serving as active duty members of the United States Armed Services.

Students who are exempt from developmental education instruction may opt to be assessed for college readiness and enroll in developmental education. For students whose assessment scores indicate a need for developmental education, colleges must advise the students of all the developmental education options from which they can choose.

Enrollment in developmental education in Florida colleges decreased from 12,723 FTE (4.0% of total FTE) in 2017-18 to 11,781 FTE (3.7% of total FTE) in 2018-19.

How is college readiness assessed?

The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) is Florida's common placement test. The PERT is available to students in public high schools and students entering Florida College System institutions to determine their readiness for college-level courses. The PERT is a computer adaptive test with 25 operational items that will be the basis of the student's placement score and five field test items which are designed to continuously enhance the operational test bank. For those who do not meet the state established cut scores, developmental education may be recommended or required before the students enroll in college-level courses. Data related to performance on common placement tests is available for Florida's public high school graduates on the Florida Department of Education website.

What developmental education options are available?

Developmental education may be delivered through
  • modularized instruction that is customized and targeted to address specific skills gaps;
  • compressed course structures that accelerate student progression from developmental instruction to college-level coursework;
  • contextualized developmental instruction that is related to meta-majors (a collection of programs of study that share common foundational skills); and/or
  • corequisite developmental instruction or tutoring that supplements credit instruction while a student is concurrently enrolled in a credit-bearing course.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

What are the applicable statutes?

Sections 1004.02, 1007.263, 1008.02, and 1008.30, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Office of the Chancellor, Division of Florida Colleges, 850-245-0407, email:  FCSInfo@fldoe.org