Putting Education Reform To The Test

Report: College Remedial System Needs A Major Overhaul

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The college remedial system is not preparing students for college level work and is a major impediment to earning a degree, according to a new report.

A new report says college remedial education programs are not working, often have no bearing on a student’s field of study and should be scrapped.

Instead, researchers from Complete College America argue, most students should have to take a set of core classes to prepare them for college. These courses should match up with the knowledge needed in the students chosen field of study — particularly math.

“The research is clear: Remedial education as it is commonly designed and delivered is not the aid to student success that we all hoped,” the report says. “It is time for policymakers and institutional leaders to take their cue from new research and emerging evidence-based practices that are leading the way toward a fundamentally new model of instruction and support for students who enter college not optimally prepared for college-level work.”

StateImpact Florida and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting have been looking at remedial education at Florida colleges in a series of stories this month.

The report notes that the majority of students who wind up in remedial classes never even finish those required courses — and just 25 percent finish their studies.

The researchers say most students could have earned a passing grade in their proposed gateway classes and the subject matter would have been more valuable in later courses

The Complete College America researchers also say colleges do not provide enough support outside the classroom for students in remedial classes. You’ll hear more about what Florida is doing about that issue next week.


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