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Shakira Lockett, 22, spent three semesters taking remedial classes before she began working on college-level courses. Lockett, who attended Miami Dade College’s Wolfson campus in downtown Miami, completed her associate’s degree in mass communications and journalism in May.

13th Grade: How Florida Schools Are Failing To Prepare Students For College

Background

One in two Florida students who took the state college placement test in 2010-2011 failed at least one section of the test and had to take a remedial course when they got to campus.

The remedial courses are in reading, writing and math.

Students and the college split the cost of the courses — which come with no credit.

There’s a cost to the state’s economy as well, because students who take college remedial courses are less likely to earn their degree. And workers with college degrees typically earn more than those who do not.

Experts blame a number of causes, including the state’s focus on standardized tests and the failure of K-12 schools and colleges to coordinate.

Florida colleges has also seen more older students returning to school during a poor economy to improve their job prospects. The federal government has contributed too, with an influx of financial aid helping students pay the cost of tuition.

Students returning to college years after completing high school are more likely to need remedial classes.

But solutions could be on the way.

Colleges are seeking ways to make it easier for students to complete remedial courses quickly. And a new generation of state education standards is intended to insure that Florida high school graduates are ready for college or the workplace.

In a series of stories, the Florida Center for Investigating Reporting and StateImpact Florida will explore the growing need for remedial education among Florida’s high school graduates and older students. We’ll try to figure out how we got here and what the state can do to improve public education and provide students with the skills and tools they need to succeed in college and in the workforce.

Latest Posts

FSU Will Examine Florida Colleges’ Remedial Course Changes

Florida State University researchers will study what eliminating remedial requirements means for Florida College System students.

Florida State University researchers have won a grant to study the effects of a new state law making remedial math, reading and writing courses optional for many students at Florida’s two- and four-year state colleges. Students who entered high school in the past decade and earned Florida’s standard high school diploma no longer have to [...]

Florida Matters: The End Of Remedial College Classes

Half of Florida students who take the state’s college placement exam end up failing at least one section. In the past, those students would have brush up in remedial reading, writing or math courses before starting their college degree. But a new Florida law will allow most recent high school graduates to skip those remedial [...]

More Pressure On Advisers As Florida Colleges Eliminate Remedial Courses

A new law eliminating most required remedial courses means college advisers must meet with new and returning students to determine if they are eligible to skip the classes.

The average adviser at Hillsborough Community College is responsible for 1,500 students. Thanks to a new law eliminating most remedial reading, writing and math courses at Florida community colleges, those advisers need to touch base with every new and returning student before the spring semester starts. Advisers and other support staff guide students as they [...]

How Hillsborough Community College Is Advising Students About Remedial Classes

Students at Florida's community colleges can now skip remedial courses.

Most students at Florida’s community colleges now have a choice about whether they want to take the state’s college placement test and any remedial reading, writing and math courses they might require. The law takes effect this spring — and students are registering for classes right now. As a result, colleges have to check in [...]

Read Florida’s New Law Making Remedial College Courses Voluntary

Many students who enroll in Florida community colleges will no longer have to take remedial reading, writing and math courses starting this spring. That’s because Florida lawmakers approved a law (SB 1720) which makes the courses and placement test voluntary for many students. Remedial courses force students to pay for refresher classes before starting on [...]

Why Remedial Classes Are No Longer Required At Florida Colleges

Hillsborough Community College's Dale Mabry campus.

Khadejah Gilbert found out she wasn’t quite ready for higher education when she enrolled in Hillsborough Community College. She’s one of many students who had to take brush up in basic subjects before starting her associate of arts degree in liberal arts. The classes cost money, but don’t come with any credit “I took prep [...]

What Florida Data Say About The Effect Teachers Have On Math And Reading

Fabric based on the Dick and Jane reading instruction series.

The New York Times takes a look at why teachers have a tougher time improving reading performance than math performance. In part, it’s because math lessons are more discrete. A quiz can tell you which math concepts a student is having problems with, as a teacher notes in the story. But reading builds on many [...]

Study: Schools And Colleges Are Teaching The Wrong Type Of Math

Most students are being taught math they will never use, while schools skimp on or omit foundational skills student use more according to a new study.

Community college students are needlessly assigned to remedial math classes to learn lessons they won’t use during their studies, according to new research from a Washington, D.C. group. And the study also found that many high school graduates are not learning subjects they will need to use in their careers. The study was produced by [...]

Why The Florida Senate Wants To Change College Remedial Course Requirements

Miami-Dade College graduate Shakira Lockett said required remedial courses stressed her, and took a toll on classmates. “None of my friends were behind me,” Lockett said of graduation. “None of the people that I knew. It was just me. And I felt really, really accomplished.”

Shakira Lockett always got pretty good grades in school. That’s why she was surprised to find out she had failed her college placement exam at Miami Dade College. Lockett spent a year a half taking remedial classes in reading, writing and math before she could start earning credits toward a degree. She finished her studies [...]

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