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Louisiana Technical College

Guide to Supplemental Studies Information

Developmental Studies
CIP 3201

View Program and Master Syllabi Now

What is the Developmental Studies Program?

The Developmental Studies Program (DSP) is a state-wide response to student need. Many students were enrolling in postsecondary courses but were unable to pass or succeed. Louisiana is addressing student and state needs by implementing a program which includes standards and procedures to improve a students academic preparation in subject areas that are fundamental for college-level work.

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Who takes Developmental Classes?

LTC placement tests are used to determine an applicants academic levels in English/Writing, Reading, and mathematics. If the applicant does not meet LTC minimum academic level requirements for a program and/or course selection, he/she will be placed in appropriate Developmental Studies courses to improve their skills and enhance their chances of being successful in the chosen field of study.

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What are the differences between high school and college?

Having a high school diploma does not necessarily mean that students are ready for college. College program curriculums vary greatly from high school curriculums. Some college programs place greater emphasis on academic studies, while others have a technical or industrial concentration with related academic work. No matter the educational focus, a college student's responsibility to achievement and success in a career field is dependent upon his/her self-drive. The college student is expected to take an active roll in the learning environment and progress at a timely pace whether the college class is taught using group instruction or a one-on-one approach.

College environments differ from high school environments.

Environment in College

  • More use of lecture learning methods.
  • Expectation to complete certain hands-on objectives or competencies.
  • Independent reading expected.
  • Classes may meet less often and for fewer hours, so students may be expected to do more study time outside class.
  • Using the library effectively is more important.
  • Students are responsible for what they should have learned in high school.
  • Faculty generally spends less time on repetition. Information is given once and then the professor moves to the next topic.
  • Emphasis on understanding theory and performing expected tasks.


  • Harder work is required for an A, B or C as an average grade.
  • Semester grades may be based on just two or three test scores, completion of "all" objectives or competencies, or a major outside project.
  • Essay exams may be more common and exam questions may be more difficult to predict.
  • More major writing assignments.

Knowledge Acquisition

  • Comprehension skills are more important.
  • Taking good notes is important.
  • Being able to identify main ideas is more important.
  • Effective communication skills is more important.
  • Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress and are responsible for recognizing the need for getting additional help.
  • Paying attention in class is more important.
  • Studying is more important.


  • Students must be independent and responsible for seeking assistance.
  • Professors have office hours to meet with students, but students must take the initiative to contact the faculty.
  • The Academic Advisor and faculty offer free help, but students must have the time to take advantage of the help.
  • More academic competition.
  • Behavior problems are not tolerated.


  • Increased work load and much faster pace.
  • Students are more independent and are accountable for their behavior.
  • It is more difficult to earn high grades.
  • An entire course is completed in 15 weeks or less.
  • Students are expected to know what they want from college.


  • Increased number of choices and decisions.
  • More self-evaluation, accepting of responsibility.
  • More independent reading and studying are required.
  • Students are responsible for time management.
  • Students establish and attain their own goals.
  • Students must be motivated to succeed.

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Will a parent be notified of a son or daughter's grades?

Federal Law, The Buckley Amendment, forbids college faculty, staff, and administrators from discussing a student's grades, attendance, etc. with anyone, including the parents even if the parents are paying the bills without written authorization from the student.

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What if I want to take the entrance exam again to try to improve my scores?

Policy and/or procedure dictate the number of times a student is allowed to retest. Retesting may or may not improve a student's score. It is believed that frequent retesting may produce results that can be attributed only to the fact that the student is familiar with the test instead of a result that truly measures the students academic preparedness for a program and/or program major class. The best way to improve entrance scores is through taking rigorous high school classes. If a high school student has taken the ACT or Compass more than once, Louisiana Technical College accepts the highest score from each attempt.

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What if I just do not placement test well?

If you do not test well, you will be recommended for Developmental Studies. However, upon first-time entry into a Developmental Studies course, students are once again assessed (through fast-track method) to determine if they are enrolled in the appropriate course level for the academic subject. If the students fast track reveals that the student does possesses academic skills for that level of developmental education, he/she is immediately given a pass grade and placed into the next level or may be recommended by the Developmental Studies instructor for retesting the placement exam in that subject area.

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Will a student receive college credit for developmental classes?

Though developmental studies courses do appear on a students college transcript, they cannot be applied toward a college credential (certificate, diploma or degree).

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If a student has to take developmental classes does that mean he or she cannot take any college-level classes at all?

In some educational programs, students are required to meet "minimum" academic entrance scores prior to program enrollment. In other educational programs, students are allowed to simultaneously enroll in developmental education courses and program major courses. Counselors and advisors will help students determine what college-level classes they can schedule.

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What grades are given in Developmental Studies classes?

As in any other course, students who earn an A, B, or C pass their class. A "D" or "F" means that the student must repeat the class the next semester. Although developmental classes are considered basic skills enhancement classes, they move much faster than a typical high school class. Most high school classes meet five hours a week, but developmental classes only meet sixty hours and the semesters at college last only 15 weeks. Therefore, developmental classes may require more study time commitments outside of class than students spent in high school to be successful.

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How is attendance regarded?

As per the LTC Attendance policy,

All students must be officially enrolled in any course that they attend. It is expected that students will attend scheduled classes regularly and on time. If an absence occurs, it is the responsibility of the student to make up all missed work, if approved by the instructor. Students who stop attending a course and do not officially drop, may receive a grade of F for all coursework missed that may result in a punitive final grade.

The attendance policy for each class must be included in the course syllabi.

Attendance will be tracked and maintained for various reporting purposes.

An instructor may drop a student for excessive absences if the student misses 10% of the class.

Developmental studies classes meet a total of sixty hours in a semester. There are 15 weeks in a spring and fall semester, with 9 weeks in a summer semester. Developmental classes are competency driven; therefore, attendance is very important for success.

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What kind of help is available?

Louisiana Technical College has a variety of resources available to assist students which include, but are not limited to the following:

Student Affairs personnel help students to apply, register, and officially enroll in classes; they also provide personal or career counseling.

Financial Aid personnel help students with loans, scholarships, and grant information.

Program academic advisors help students to outline credential plans, schedule classes, and make career decisions.

On an appointment basis, faculty provide extra assistance to students outside of class time. Faculty office hours are posted each semester.

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If I have additional questions, whom can I contact?

For additional information, please contact the campus for which you are seeking enrollment. The campus leader and/or student services personnel will be happy to assist you.

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