“Simply putting (students) in three levels of remedial math is really taking their money and time with no hope of success,” said Stan Jones, president of Complete College America.
The group’s research shows just 1 in 10 remedial students graduate from community colleges within three years and a little more than a third complete bachelor’s degrees in six years. Yet the classes are widespread, with more than 50 percent of students entering two-year colleges and nearly 20 percent of those entering four-year universities put in at least one remedial course, the report said.
A new Kansas law prohibits four-year universities from using state funds to provide remedial courses.
California’s community colleges are trying to fix remedial education, reports the North County Times in San Diego County.
Remedial education at California’s community colleges is riddled with flaws, including a placement system that sends large numbers of students to corrective classes they may not need and course schedules that lead to large numbers of dropouts, a growing body of research shows.
At Palomar College in San Marcos, administrators are working with the California Acceleration Project to streamline remedial math instruction. MiraCosta College in Oceanside is working on improving remediation too.
Community colleges also are rethinking placement exams after a Community College Research Center study found that up to 1 of 3 students is misplaced.
“It wasn’t a test of what you could do, but about what you could remember from a long time ago,” said one student interviewed for a 2010 study titled “One-Shot Deal?” by WestEd, a nonprofit research group dedicated to education.
“Students don’t know the stakes of the test, they’re not reviewing and they don’t prepare for it,” (Chabot English Professor Katie) Hern said. “If you were to take that test cold —- a professional journalist, a college graduate —- you’d probably test two or three levels below college-level math.”
Statewide, 83 percent of incoming community college students are sent to “basic skills” (remedial) math classes and 72 percent are placed in basic skills English classes, according to WestEd.