Ohio

Eye on Education

New College Remediation-Free Standards Set for Ohio

Ida Lieszkovszky / StateImpact: Ohio

A teacher in a remedial math class reviews Algebra, concepts like fractions and decimals, to a freshmen class at Wright State.

More than 40 percent of Ohio students who go on to college aren’t ready to take college courses. Instead, they first have to take remedial classes to catch up.

That means they’re paying for courses without getting any credit for them, and learning things they should have learned in high school.

But who has to take remedial courses in what subject has been left up to the individual universities – until now.

Today, the leaders of the state’s colleges and universities released an agreed-upon set of common criteria that qualifies a student as remediation-free.

“The standards themselves are relatively long dissertations on the type of skills that a student needs in order to perform well at the college level,” says Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council.

But they also have corresponding ACT and SAT scores. For the ACT, a student must score at least an 18 in English, a 21 in reading, and a 22 in math. On the SAT, the required scores are a 450 in reading, 430 in writing, and a 520 in math.

The only exception is science, where standards were set but no corresponding test score was agreed upon.

That basically means that if a student gets at least a 520 on the math section of the SAT, they won’t have to take a remedial course in mathematics once they get to college. That’s true even if they do poorly on an entrance exam given by the school.

In most cases, these new standards aren’t far off from what was used before, but now they are uniform statewide.

But the new standards aren’t expected to do much in terms of increasing the readiness of college students.

“What it’ll do is it’ll give students some target so they know when they go to college they’re not taking courses that aren’t earning them college credit,” Johnson says. “The truth of the matter is we’re not going to reduce standards. That would be the opposite of what we need to do.”

The new standards were mandated by law as part of last year’s budget bill.

 

 

 

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