Eighty percent of students starting community college in California take at least one remedial course, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) report.
Remediation “fails” students, according to the report. Only 16 percent will earn a two-year degree in six years; 24 percent transfer to a four-year college or university.
Math is the greatest barrier: 65 percent of students are assigned to “developmental” math: Most start at least two levels below the college level. Only about 27 percent of remedial math students go on to complete a college math course with a grade of C or better.
In addition, 54 percent enroll in “developmental” English. Less than half will pass a college-level English class.
Students earn no credit, since they’re not doing college-level work. For those who stick with it — about half do not — it takes a year or more.
Most of the state’s community colleges are trying alternatives, such as aligning remedial courses with students’ programs of study or compressing two-semester sequences into a single semester, reports the PPIC. (I think alignment means letting students with un-mathy majors take statistics instead of algebra.)
Florida’s state colleges and universities let students skip remediation, even if their placement scores are low, if they think they can handle college-level courses. Colleges have added online labs and tutoring to help.
Perhaps all colleges should go “Full Florida,” writes Matt Reed, who blogged as “community college dean,” in Inside Higher Ed.
Remedial enrollments dropped by half, reports the Sun-Sentinel. Pass rates in entry-level college classes dropped slightly or held steady.
“Pass rates in developmental classes increased significantly,” Reed’s colleagues tell him. They think it’s because students are there by choice.
There’s something fundamentally broken about developmental education . . . Forcing students who have had bad experiences in a given subject to start by re-taking material they’ve had before, on their own dime, with no credit towards graduation, is a motivation-killer.
Most students who earned A’s and B’s in high school require remedial help in community college, according to a survey of 70,000 community-college students. Forty percent of A students and 60 percent of B students were unprepared for college work in math, English or both.
Less than a third of community college students earned a two-year degree after six years, reports the National Student Clearinghouse. One in 10 complete a four-year degree.