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Americans Are Spending at Least $1.5 Billion in College Remediation Courses, and the Middle Class Pays the Most

Education Post – Staff Writer

“More than half a million college freshmen—approximately one in four students who enter college the fall after high school graduation—had to enroll in remedial coursework during their first year of college, costing their families nearly $1.5 billion annually. Forty-five percent of those students came from middle and upper income families, according to Out of Pocket: The High Cost of Inadequate High Schools and High School Student Achievement on College Affordability, a new research report from Education Reform Now and Education Post…Peter Cunningham, executive director of Education Post, which commissioned the study, said, “High schools are not rigorous enough. Higher standards have raised the bar but we need to hold schools accountable for meeting those standards.””(more)

Progress on Remediation

Inside Higher Ed – Ashley A. Smith

“College and state officials in Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia and other places where they’ve been working to reform remedial education are seeing dramatic increases in students completing college-level courses. Those are the findings in a new report from Complete College America, a nonprofit group that advocates for one approach to improve remedial education known as corequisite remediation. CCA released a report Thursday showing significant gains in states that have partnered with the organization to eliminate traditional remediation. The corequisite approach encourages colleges to take students who need remediation and place them in college-level, or gateway, English and math courses, but to pair those courses with additional supports. However, this type of remediation has faced controversy.”(more)

Remedial Education at Community Colleges

The Huffington Post – Tom Snyder

“According to the report, “Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere,” fifty-one percent of all applicants to community colleges are required to take remedial courses so they are prepared for college-level work…This is a problem faced by many community colleges. The nationwide cost of this remedial instruction is estimated at $4 billion a year. Students must use the money they receive from Pell Grants or other sources of financial aid to pay for remedial courses. The courses don’t count toward a degree. What almost inevitably happens is that these students become discouraged and drop out of school. We need to solve this problem…”(more)

How five states are boosting college readiness in twelfth grade

Thomas B. Fordham Institute – Nancy Brynelson, Corley Dennison, Daniel Doerger, Jacqueline E. King, William Moore, & Faith Muirhead

“As states have implemented college and career readiness standards, it has sometimes been assumed that most of the work and attention has occurred at the elementary grades. In truth, many states have been working for some time to ensure that grade twelve prepares all students for post-secondary success. Programs like AP, IB, and dual enrollment are the most touted offerings for well-prepared students. But there has also been a great effort to create courses for students who are not yet college-ready and who can use senior year to close academic gaps and avoid the remedial instruction that so often acts as a drain on the time, finances, and morale of ascending college students.”(more)

New Guide to Remediation

New Guide to Remediation – Ashley A. Smith

“Colleges and states have spent years working on ways to improve remedial education, especially as they find more students are graduating high school unprepared for the rigors of college. Sixty-eight percent of community college students and 40 percent of students at public four-year colleges take at least one remedial course, and even more students are referred to developmental courses but never enroll in them, according to the Community College Research Center. Now a slate of national organizations and states are endorsing six principles, all in an effort to aid in transforming and improving remediation.”(more)

Legislative Fixes for Remediation

Inside Higher Ed – Ashley A. Smith

“Low success rates and high costs are driving more states and institutions to seek new ways to offer developmental or remedial college courses. Minnesota recently became the latest state in which legislators are making an effort to retain and boost completion rates among less academically prepared college students. They’re considering a proposal to give students who test into remediation the option to avoid taking a remedial class or to take a regular, credit-bearing course with tutoring or extra support — an approach known as “corequisite remediation.” “There’s no question there is a movement afoot across the country to implement corequisite remediation and to do it to scale,” said Bruce Vandal, vice president of Complete College America…But Vandal cautioned that his group isn’t recommending the elimination of remediation altogether or throwing students into the deep end to see them fail. “Research tells us it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition,” he said.”(more)