Education is about fair opportunity. It’s about social mobility, and a chance to create a better life for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, the current higher education system does not always mirror education’s full potential.
Consider students who enroll in college despite considerable challenges and setbacks in life. The ability and perseverance to surmount these obstacles demonstrate a wealth of capabilities and potential for success. Often times, however, these students are academically underprepared for one or more core subjects and are funneled into a remediation system that is removed from the mainstream college experience and not currently designed to maximize their potential. Sadly, more than half of the students who make it to community college drop out before obtaining a degree, and for those assigned to remedial programs their chances can drop as low as 8 percent. This crisis is amplified for students with low incomes and from underrepresented minority groups, who make up the majority of remedial class enrollment.
However, we are amidst a paradigm shift from seeing remediation or developmental education as a separate, compartmentalized endeavor to one linked to the fundamental educational mission of the institution. Given the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s vision of a U.S. postsecondary education system in which all students who seek the opportunity are able to complete a high-quality, affordable postsecondary education that leads to a fulfilling career and a life-sustaining wage, we are encouraged by this fundamental shift. <Read more.>