FDEA: Standing Our Ground: Retention, Completion and Success in Developmental Education in the 21st

FDEA Board Members: Elizabeth Smith, Barbara LeBranch, Tricia Rizza, David DelRossi, Sharisse Turner, Ellenar Harper, Priscilla McAlister

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Florida Developmental Education Association, an organization that has served as a resource for faculty, staff and administrators who provide learning assistance to students, primarily at Florida’s two-year institutions. It has been my honor this year to lead such a dynamic, innovative and compassionate group of professionals who are committed to student success.

The theme of this year’s conference, to be held September 21-22 at State College of Florida in Manatee County, is the title of this blog. It reflects our resolve to continue the work of academic achievement even in the midst of budgetary constraints and unwieldy policy changes. What has always mattered is our ability to serve students, no matter where they are on the learning continuum, who enter our open access institutions. We continue to focus on moving those students from entry to completion. In essence, we stand our ground by strengthening what remains. Our conference will include exciting sessions that address assisting academically underprepared students in gateway courses, strengthening K-12 partnerships in order to promote college readiness, pedagogical trends in developmental education instruction, and more. We are delighted to host Robin Ozz, president of the National Association of Developmental Education (NADE), as our keynote speaker. We look forward to her words of wisdom, encouragement and motivation to continue our work. In addition to the great sessions and the opportunity to network with other educators from across the state and beyond, the FDEA executive board has planned a relaxing social hour that includes a poetry slam…and wine!

If you are not an FDEA or NADE member, I encourage you to join both organizations as they represent the core of who we are in the diverse field of developmental education. Together we can make our organizations stronger than ever. If you are interested in presenting, we are accepting proposals through July 31 (contact Please reach out to your colleagues by sharing this blog along with the FDEA conference information. Visit our website at; like us on Facebook. Remind your executive leadership of the benefits of institutional membership, which includes access to thousands of dollars in student scholarships.




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