Five Myths of Remedial Ed

Five Myths of Remedial Ed “hinder our pursuit of college success,” argue Jane V. Wellman of theDelta Project on Postsecondary Costs, Productivity and Accountability and Bruce Vandal, who directs Getting Past Go for the Education Commission of the States in Inside Higher Ed.

According to Wellman and Vandal, the myths are: remedial education is K-12′s problem, it’s a short-term problem, colleges know how to determine readiness, remedial ed is bankrupting the system and “maybe some students just aren’t college material.”

Remedial education is the 800-pound gorilla that stands squarely in the path of our national objective to increase the number of adults with a college degree. If we dispel these myths, the solutions become clear: get higher education to articulate what it means to be college-ready, implement those college-ready standards in high school, fund remedial education programs in ways that reward student success, and customize coursework to meet students’ needs.

Only 25 percent of community college students who start in remedial classes complete a credential, they estimate.

W. Norton Grubb analyzes instruction in remedial classes in California community colleges in a new Policy Analysis for California Education study. Grubb estimates that 60 percent of community college students — perhaps 80 percent in California — start in remedial classes.

Via Community College Spotlight.

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The Long Path to a 4-Year Degree

Bachelor’s degree recipients in 2007-08 who started at a community college took almost 20 percent longer to complete degrees than those who started at a four-year institution, according to a federal report, (pdf).

The median completion time for community college transfers was 63 months compared to 52 months for students who started at public four-year universities, 45 for private nonprofit four-years, and 57 for four-year for-profit colleges, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Forty-four percent of all degree earners in 2007-8 earned their diplomas in 48 months or fewer, nearly a quarter finished in five years, 9.3 percent required a sixth year, 12 percent took seven or eight years, and 11.5 percent took more than eight years to finish their degrees.

Students who delayed college entry took much longer, with a median of 80 months to completion.

Via Community College Spotlight.

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