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Daily Dish: The Importance of College Readiness to Avoid Remediation

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February 19, 2016 03:01 pm

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college ready

The Hechinger Report dives into the issue of college remediation, noting that although high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, many students are not prepared for college-level coursework and must take remedial courses. The article pulls data from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, which shows that nearly 60 percent of students at two-year colleges take remedial courses, which can be both costly and time-consuming, to strengthen their skills before entering into college-level classes. Not only are they expensive and time-intensive, this remedial education can be a “black hole” for these college students, says the piece, as only one in five manages to move on to college-level courses. “For many, just the prospect of remedial classes is discouraging enough that they drop their college aspirations altogether.”

The piece includes input from several professionals who emphasize the importance of having an assessment that accurately measures college and career readiness. Linda Noonan, executive director of Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, said: “We need a test to give educators, students and families an honest indication of whether [high school students] are on track to meet postsecondary demands…This is the reason why Common Core is so important.” The article explains that experts hope the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, which are utilized in forty-four states and D.C., will better prepare students for college-level education.

At community colleges in Oklahoma, many students arrive with learning gaps, especially in math or writing, and struggle through remedial courses, reports KGOU, the local NPR station. Only a small number will make it through to earn a degree, the article notes, citing data from Community College Research Center at Columbia that only 17 percent of students who enrolled in Oklahoma community colleges earned a bachelor’s degree within six years. This number is higher than the national rate of completion at community colleges, which now stands at 14 percent. When it comes to why students drop out, Gary Davidson, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges, said that lack of college readiness among high school graduates is the biggest challenge.

One of the segments of the Alliance’s 2016 Digital Learning Day focused on the issue of college and career readiness for students, especially in the STEM fields. The session featured Ohio’s MC2 STEM High School (MC2), which has a public-private partnership with Cleveland State University and General Electric and provides real-world project-based experiences for students to help prepare them for postsecondary programs and careers. Watch the segment below:

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