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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Remediation for college credit

Starting in 2018, California State University will give students college credit for courses that include remediation, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Thirty-nine percent of Cal State freshmen are placed in remedial math, English or both, reports EdSource. These students come from the top third of the state’s graduates.

In an executive order, Chancellor Timothy P. White told the system’s 23 campus 23 campus presidents to use high school grades and SAT/ACT scores to determine college readiness rather than placement exams and to let unprepared students take college-credit classes immediately with extra academic support.

Students study math at San Bernardino State’s Early Start program in 2015. By next summer, students will earn credits for remedial courses. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

Only 19 percent of Cal State students earn a degree in four years. Cal State hopes to push that to 40 percent by 2025.

This is the “co-requisite” model promoted by Complete College America.

One option is to “stretch” one-semester courses over two semesters to provide time for basic skills instruction.

At Cal State Dominguez Hills near Los Angeles, more remedial students are earning credit for college algebra, reports Larry Gordon for EdSource.

For example, a traditional for-credit college algebra class usually meets three times a week for 50 minutes. In contrast, the co-requisite (Aida) Tseggai attended met for an hour and ten minutes three times a week for instructor Cassondra Lochard’s lectures; in addition, students had an extra group hour weekly with a teaching assistant plus one-on-one tutoring.  In contrast to regular classroom protocol, the teaching assistant circulated among the desks during lectures, softly giving advice and reviewing students’ calculations and algebra formulations.

After failing twice, Raquel Herrera switched her major from biochemistry to “liberal studies,” which doesn’t require algebra. She hopes to pass statistics in the fall. She wants to be a teacher.

New students who aren’t prepared for college work will be directed to a free Early Start summer program that offers remedial math and English prep. It’s not new, but now all campuses will offer Early Start remediation for college credit.

The high school grade point average of students needing remedial help in both English and math was 3.2 — a B plus — reports the San Diego Union-Tribune, which is worried Cal State’s campaign to raise the graduation rate will devalue its degrees.

Ya think?

As a math teacher (and esteemed guest blogger), Darren sees this as “another well-intended step on the road to hell.”

It’s a great way to devalue a college degree, writes Walt Gardner.

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