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Saturday, December 15

Brookdale Newsroom

Brookdale Moves to “Foundational Skills” Model

Brookdale employees voted overwhelmingly on Oct. 6 to do away with the term “basic skills” in favor of “Foundational Studies,” which will now be used to refer to all developmental coursework in reading, writing and mathematics at the college.

The change, which was ratified during the October Governance Forum in the Student Life Center in Lincroft, reflects far more than just a new name, said assistant English professor Charles Mencel.

“It is a far better representation of our approach to developmental education,” said Mencel, who serves as chair of the Foundational Studies committee in Governance. “It really reflects the broad scope of small- and large-scale efforts we are working on to ensure Brookdale students succeed in college, and continue that success at the next level.”

Those efforts, Mencel said, include a number of new educational pilot programs and grant-funded initiatives in all foundational subjects, including a wildly successful Accelerated Learning Program in English and a new foundational studies program recently rolled out at the Freehold campus.

“Sixty percent of incoming students need some form of foundational support in one or more of these subject areas,” he said.

“We need to take a comprehensive approach to reach them all effectively. From creating new [high school-to-college] bridge programs to establishing new, one-credit complimentary seminars for incoming students, it’s all on the table. That, essentially, is what this name change reflects.”

[Featured photo: Foundational Skills Committee chair Charles Mencel and Governance chair Howard Miller stand together following the October Governance Forum in Lincroft.]