Leaders Call for Reform in Remedial Education

Citing lackluster completion rates among students who place into remedial education courses, a group of higher education reformers on Wednesday called for an overhaul in the way that remedial education is delivered.

“Remediation, as currently structured, simply does not work,” said Stan Jones, president of Complete College America, a policy and research organization that works with states to improve college completion rates.

Jones’ organization is one of four that united to issue the new set of research-based principles that they say should shape the way colleges and universities serve students who currently don’t place into college-level courses. The other organizations that joined in the effort are: Jobs for the Future, the Education Commission of the States and the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

The seven principles the groups unveiled Wednesday are:

  • Making completion of a set of gateway courses for a program of study a “critical measure of success.”
  • Aligning the content of required gateway courses with a student’s academic program of study — particularly in math. In other words, making sure the content of a course is relevant to the student’s chosen field of study.
  • Making “gateway” college-level courses the default placement for more students.
  • Integrating additional academic support with college-level course content as a “co-requisite, not a pre-requisite.”
  • Providing accelerated routes into programs of study for students who are significantly underprepared for college level work.
  • Using multiple measures in making decisions about whether placement of students into gateway courses and programs of study, not just placement tests.
  • Entering students into a “meta-major” when they enroll in college and having them start a program of study during their freshman year in order to boost their chances of earning a degree. <Read more.>

Via Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Diverse Issues in Higher Education.