The Basic Skills Research Project, a joint effort of the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Education and the RP Group, offers an analysis of how to transform basic skills instruction as observed at 20 California community colleges. Through a series of working papers, we described issues such as pedagogy and successful models, including looking at specific techniques such as Reading Apprenticeship and the National Writing Project.
For this study, UC Berkeley and the RP Group developed case studies of 14 colleges in California, based on interviews with instructors, department chairs, deans, program and committee leaders, other administrators, and student services professionals, as well as through classroom observations. This research specifically aimed to understand how to promote comprehensive basic skills reform and identified four key changes that can be made to basic skills programs in order to significantly improve outcomes for substantial numbers of developmental education students.
Maximizing the effectiveness of student services
Creating structural coherence
Building leadership at all levels
Routledge subsequently published the findings. Basic Skills Research Project as Basic Skills Education in Community Colleges: Inside and Outside of Classrooms, written by W. Norton Grubb, with Dr. Robert Gabriner may be purchased through Rutledge and Amazon.
Read a review of the book from Mike Rose, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.
RP Group Lead
Dr. Robert Gabriner, Project Director
Co-directed In partnership with W. Norton Grubb, University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Education
RP Group Project Team Members
Elizabeth Boner, Kathy Booth, Kate Frankel, Laura Hope, Lynette Parker, David Patterson, Elisa Rassen, Eva Schiorring, Bruce Smith, Richard Taylor, Ian Walton, Smokey Wilson
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, David Gardner Chair in Higher Education
University of California, Berkeley
Guides and Tools
A Guide to Transforming Basic Skills Education in Community Colleges, Inside and Outside the Classroom, April 2013
Guide designed to help colleges understand where to start comprehensive basic skills reform, by identifying and exploring four key changes that can be made to basic skills programs in order to significantly improve student outcomes.
Basic Skills Education in Community Colleges, April 2013
This presentation at the 2013 Northern California College Reading Association Conference shares basic skills instructional practices and insights observed in California community colleges as part of the Basic Skills Research Project.
Basic Skills Education in Community Colleges: Inside and Outside of Classrooms, December 2012
Book based on findings from the Basic Skills Research Project, written by W. Norton Grubb, with support from Bob Gabriner; based on classroom observations and interviews with administrators, faculty, and students, this valuable book balances critique with examples of innovation.
The book may be purchased through Routledge or Amazon.
News and Events
This project is complete. Visit "Related Projects" below to learn about our other initiatives in this project's area(s) of impact.