Developmental Studies Program

One-semester program to boost academic skills

The Developmental Studies (DS) program at Jamestown Community College strengthens your academic skills in writing, reading and/or math in your first semester.

You may be placed into this program based on your placement scores. These scores indicate that you need help developing your reading, writing, or math skills in order to take college-level courses. After you complete the DS program in your first semester, you'll be back to taking courses for your chosen academic program.

More about the DS program

The one-semester Developmental Studies (DS) Program is designed for full-time students whose placement scores have indicated a need to strengthen academic skills in writing, reading, and/or math, prior to acceptance into their desired academic program.

Students enrolled in the DS program, with the guidance of their academic advisor, select appropriate reading, writing, and math courses. In addition, students will also enroll in HUM 1300: On Course for Success, a course which focuses on strategies for creating greater academic, professional, and personal success, and in INT 1520: Student Success Seminar, a five-week course which all first-time, full-time students take to ease the transition to the college experience. Finally, students select other course electives from a variety of fields such as art, physical education, computer science, and humanities.

Upon completion of the DS program, students transition into their desired program of study and enroll in appropriate coursework, as recommended by their academic advisors.

What do our students say?

“It [this program] is a confidence builder. You will learn a lot about yourself.”

“It really helped me achieve many different things and to be confident in myself and what I am going to become. It also preps you for your next semester classes that you will be taking.”

“This semester has taught me many life lessons and I have created a good bond with the other students in my classes. This was a great program and changed me a lot.”

“This program helped me to build confidence in myself, that I could be successful in college.”

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Contact Developmental Studies

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How was I placed into this program?

You were placed into this program as a result of your placement scores. These scores indicate that you need help developing your reading, writing, or math skills before you are eligible to take college-level courses. The DS program will help you to prepare for courses at the college-level.

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How long is the DS program?

The program is for one semester. Depending on your placement test scores, you will take developmental courses in math, reading, and/or writing. You will also take HUM 1300: On Course for Success and the one-credit Student Success Seminar. Your schedule may also have space for an appropriate elective, such as an art or music class, physical education offering or computer science. Once you have successfully completed your developmental courses, you will be eligible for college-level courses in the following semester.

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Is the DS program required?

Yes. As a way to prepare you for college-level courses, we’ve created a great learning experience for you to ready yourself for the full college experience. We have found that students who have completed this program have a better chance of succeeding when they advance to college-level courses.

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Will I get to take courses in my major?

That depends on your major. Some programs, such as art, music, physical education, and humanities, offer courses that you may be eligible to take. If you look in the college catalog, you will see the minimum requirements listed for each course in the section titled “Course Descriptions.” Many courses require a reading score of 80+ and/or the successful completion of ENG 1510 before you are eligible to take them.

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Can I get financial aid when I’m in DS?

Yes. Most students in the DS program need to pass a minimum of three college-level credits in order to receive financial aid, so this requirement will be satisfied by the three-credit On Course for Success class. However, financial aid guidelines can be complicated and do vary from student to student based on your particular situation, so please be sure to work carefully with your academic advisor and with the JCC financial aid office throughout the advisement process. 

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Can I take the DS classes at night?

The full DS program is only offered during the day. There are, however, many developmental courses offered in the evening. You will want to discuss these options with your advisor.

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Can I play sports while I’m in the DS program?

Yes! Make sure you tell your advisor that you are a student athlete when you are building your schedule at advisement so he or she knows to schedule classes earlier in the day.

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What will my schedule look like?

The DS program is a full-time program involving 12-18 credits. Below is a sample schedule. Not all students will have this exact schedule, but it will be similar.

M/W/F - 9-9:50 a.m. ENG 0430 Essential Writing Skills, 10-10:50 a.m. MAT 0500 Elementary Algebra
M/W - 1:15-2:30 p.m. ENG 0410 Reading Versatility
T/R weeks 1-5 - 10-11:15 a.m. INT 1520 Student Success Seminar, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. HUM 1300 On Course for Success
T/R weeks 6-10/15 - 10-11:15 a.m. elective, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. HUM 1300 On Course for Success

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How long will it take me to complete my degree?

This is a difficult question because the answer depends on many factors, including motivation, success in your courses, how many credits you complete each semester, and whether or not you change your major, to name a few. This program will help you to prepare for completing your degree, but you are ultimately responsible for how long it takes to finish your degree.

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I have a disability and need testing and/or classroom accommodations.

Students with disabilities (learning, physical, sensory, psychological, medical, etc.) will work through Accessibility Services to request and arrange accommodations and/or assistive technology.