Community college remediation is doing more harm than good, argues the California Acceleration Project in a new report, Up to the Challenge.
A proposed state law would require community colleges to use high school grades as well as placement tests to decide whether students need remedial coursework, reports KPCC. Colleges would have to show a student was “highly unlikely to succeed” in a college-level course before placing a student in remediation.
Some community colleges have adopted “co-requisite” remediation: Students enroll in college-credit classes while working on basic skills in a lab, tutorial or other class.
According to a Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) study, 80 percent of students entering community colleges enroll in at least one remedial course. Only 16 percent complete a certificate or two-year degree in six years.
Remedial reforms are improving success rates at some California community colleges, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
“Students who bypassed the traditional remedial education system were more than twice as likely to pass college-level English and more than four times as likely to pass math within two years than they would have been otherwise,” according to a study by the Research & Planning Group for California Community Colleges. The 16 colleges studied “cut their students’ time in remediation by at least a semester.”