Framing Corequisite Reform: Examining Staff Perceptions and Buy-in of a Statewide Dev-Ed Reform Mandate
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States and colleges nationwide are adopting corequisite reforms, where students assessed as not meeting college-readiness standards concurrently enroll in developmental and college-level coursework. Leveraging frame analysis—an approach drawn from collective action research—and interviews with 49 actors at 16 community colleges implementing a statewide corequisite mandate, we examine how institutional actors construct meaning of the status quo and reformed dev-ed systems and how they assign responsibility for solving identified problems. Examining the micro-processes experienced by institutional agents may explain the lack of buy-in among college personnel responsible for implementing dev-ed reform—surprising given growing evidence of the effectiveness of corequisites—and variation in reform take-up. Our findings on the frames used by implementing actors illuminate individual-level processes underlying lags in reform implementation and, for policymakers and administrators, can inform potential counterframes to spur further action and overcome resistance.
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