Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice


Neoliberalism, Developmental Education, Academic Capitalism, Marketization of Education


The egalitarian mission of community colleges to provide an open access to educational opportunities for all often contradicts the high academic standards for college readiness, and therefore establishes the need for developmental education. Beginning in the 1970s, neoliberalism as a form of governmentality gradually invaded schools and public services including developmental education in a community college level. This paper explores the neoliberal influence on developmental education in three aspects: the effect of decreased institutional funding for the community college system and increased cost of higher education for students in developmental education, increased curriculum management and accountability expectations on a state level and its reflection on developmental education, and treatment of students in developmental education as consumers individually responsible for their own performance.

Author Statement

I am a community college administrator and faculty at California State University, San Bernardino. My research interests include developmental education, academic tenacity, student success, social justice and equity.