Comprehensive On Completion

Career College Central summary:

  • Maryland's public colleges are six months into complying with one of the nation’s most ambitious college completion bills. The state-mandated push puts Maryland in a class with Tennessee, Indiana and Georgia. A few educators said they were uneasy about the state’s Legislature getting so deep in the weeds with legislation that touches on everything from dual enrollment to remediation and requires completion plans for each student. (See below for more details about the measure.) Making the many required changes has been a heavy lift at times. But several college leaders said the comprehensive nature of the legislation was a virtue.
  • That's because Maryland's completion legislation, which was enacted in July, deals simultaneously with K-12, community colleges and four-year institutions. Experts say attempted completion fixes, such as improving remedial course success rates, can benefit from reaching across the various stages of public education.
  • The measure requires high schools to test students on their college readiness — in both math and English — before they finish their junior years. By 2015 high schools will need to create "transition" courses for students that are deemed unprepared for college-level courses in those subjects.
  • On the higher education side, public institutions in the state must require students to complete at least one credit-bearing, non-remedial math and English course as part of the first 24 credits they earn. That approach manages to not be punitive, said John Grabowski, dean of enrollment services at Anne Arundel Community College. It is also less aggressive than legislative attempts to reform remediation in other states, such as Florida and Connecticut.

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