Held back by developmental ed

Remedial courses are holding back students instead of helping them at community and technical colleges, speakers said at the Complete College Georgia Summit on the University of Georgia campus.

Thousands upon thousands of students don’t continue in college because they don’t pass algebra. That’s crazy, said Uri Treisman, a professor of math and public affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. Most won’t need algebra in their future jobs, he said.

Remedial classes are structured like 1951 high school classes, Treisman said. Students must cover all the course material in a certain amount of time or start all over in the next semester.  Many get frustrated and give up.

Some colleges are finding success by targeting instruction in a math lab to the skills each students needs to learn. Once students achieve mastery, they can move on immediately.