Colleges Seek To Improve Remedial Programs

Career College Central summary:

Career College Central summary:

  • The advocacy group Complete College America had dubbed remedial classes the "bridge to nowhere." The challenge, educators say, is that even as billions are spent annually on remedial classes, many of these students run out of financial aid before they can complete their credit requirements, get discouraged by non-credit classes or find themselves unable to complete them.
  • Nationally, it's estimated that more than a third of all college students — and more than half in community colleges — need some remedial help. Some students enter college two, three or even four semesters behind in a subject, says Thomas Bailey from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • That's putting increased demands on colleges already facing mounting pressure to curb tuition costs and help meet the White House goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
  • And that's led to innovation around the country. In Massachusetts, for example, public colleges and universities are experimenting with using a high school GPA rather than a standard assessment test to determine whether students really need remedial courses. It is also re-examining whether some algebra-based classes can be replaced with more statistics-heavy ones for some majors.

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