Fed Behind Push To Limit Remedial Education


Freshmen college students are sometimes surprised to learn that quite a few of the courses they took in high school must be repeated in college. Worse, students have to pay for these classes and aren’t likely to receive any credit for their work.

college studentWhat am I talking about? Remedial classes, those subjects such as Algebra, English Composition and U.S. History that you labored over while in high school. Many colleges require the retaking of these classes if students don’t show a proficiency in a certain subject, those basic skills needed to graduate college. In the case of English Composition, a high school class many have concentrated on literature with little emphasis on writing.

High Schools, Colleges Disconnected

For decades now students have been required to take these classes in addition to their regular college credits. This can push the graduation date back for some students, making it more difficult for them to finish college. Indeed, The New York Times recently covered this subject in an article titled, “New Push Seeks to End Need for Pre-College Remedial Classes,” where they noted that there is often a disconnect between what high schools teach and what colleges require.

The Obama administration is instructing states that they need to get their high schools and colleges to work together. In particular, the federal government wants states to work on improving courses and test scores so that remedial work isn’t required. The goal of the administration is for the United States to have the highest percentage of its students finish college by 2020. The government is using federal stimulus money as leverage in order to get states to comply.

Booming Remedial Education

The Times article notes that more than 60% of community/technical college students are enrolled in remedial courses with just under half that of all four-year college students doing the same. High schools have often pointed to their success in sending a high percentage of kids to college, but in many cases are not equipping them to succeed while on campus. The Obama initiative is designed to change that by preparing kids for college while yet in high school.

States are also talking to each other to develop unified required courses and tougher testing to help students prepare for college. In California, the state already has an early-warning system in place which alerts students who are finishing their junior year of study if they have what its takes to succeed in college. If a problem is recognized, students can still get adequately prepared during their senior year of high school by taking those classes which will help them thrive on campus.

Adv. – Are you ready to leave for college? I don’t mean being academically prepared although that is a good thing. Rather, do you have all of the things that you need to help you succeed while on campus? SayCollegeMove.com has what you need for your dorm, as well as school supplies, transportation tips and food among other stuff. Stop by today to see what we’re all about!


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Categories: Academics