Community colleges can reduce the need for remediation by collaborating with feeder high schools to prepare students, reports Inside Higher Ed.
In California, Long Beach City College faculty worked with Long Beach Unified teachers to align high school and college courses. By using high school grades, not just placement tests, to decide who can start in college-level courses, LBCC dramatically lowered remediation rates.
For example, 53 percent of the group took transfer-level English courses in their first semester, while only 5.5 percent of students from the same high school district took the courses the previous year – meaning they were 10 times more likely to jump directly into credit-bearing English. And their passage rate of 62 percent was roughly the same as the college’s typical passage rate in English.
Fully 60 percent of the students in the program, which is dubbed “Promise Pathways,” placed into transfer-level English courses, compared to 11 percent of the college’s overall student population.
LBCC now places 31 percent of Promise Pathways students in college-level math, compared to 7 percent of students overall.
South Texas College, located near the U.S.-Mexican border, has works closely with high schools to prepare students for college. Sixty-eight partner high schools offer dual enrollment programs, giving students a head start on an associate degree.
. . . the high school partnerships have helped drive down remedial placement rates to 17 percent, an extremely low number for a college that serves a largely lower-income, first-generation college population. The remedial placement rate has dropped by 45 percent since 2004, and Shirley A. Reed, the college’s president, credits dual enrollment as being a big part of that improvement.
“The high schools have accepted responsibility for college readiness,” Reed said. “Now we share in the responsibility.”
Preparing students for college success is the high schools’ job, write Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers in an Ed Week blog.