Are those support labs going to be mandatory? Just wondering….

Kathryn Van Wagoner
Director, Developmental Mathematics
Weber State University

On 1/23/14 5:45 AM, "Norman Stahl" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Miss. community colleges eye remedial courses
>By Associated Press, Published January 22, 2014
>​A new structure for remedial courses at Mississippi's 15 community
>colleges could help more students graduate more quickly.
>The centerpiece of the model is an effort to move some students who
>previously would have been forced to take a remedial course for no
>academic credit into credit-bearing English and math courses. The
>colleges would provide supporting labs to boost those borderline
>students' performance, in hopes of helping them succeed.
>"The sequence of remedial education can sometimes be a barrier to
>students being successful," Jones County Junior College President Jesse
>Smith told a joint meeting of the state House and Senate Colleges and
>Universities committees this week.
>Community colleges voted to adopt the changes in November and will roll
>them out in fall 2014. Lawmakers, who have long questioned why the state
>has to spend so much on catch-up courses, applauded the effort.
>"I think what it will do is make things more efficient for students and
>make sure they get that degree," said Senate Universities and Colleges
>Committee Chairman John Polk.
>A closer look
>In the fall 2012 semester, 20,000 of Mississippi's 76,000 community
>college students took at least one remedial course. Officials estimated
>that in 2010, Mississippi spent $25 million teaching developmental
>classes to community college students, and another $10 million teaching
>them to students at universities.
>Most of the students taking catch-up courses are recent high school
>graduates who aren't prepared for college. State Superintendent Carey
>Wright says new tougher courses being adopted at the K-12 level will
>hopefully cut that number. Nationwide, more than 25 percent of remedial
>students are over age 30, possibly having forgotten high school lessons.
>The move comes after national and state studies questioned the
>traditional remedial model, finding that students with borderline
>qualifications appeared to do no better after taking remedial courses
>than those who took for-credit courses. But making students take more
>courses makes college take longer and cost more.
>"Factors that extend the time it takes students to complete degrees are
>also associated with a lower probability of degree completion,"
>researchers for the Future of Childrenproject, an effort of Princeton
>University and the Brookings Institution, wrote last year.
>A different approach
>The community colleges agreed to stop offering six courses and realign
>eight others. Any student with a high school diploma or equivalent can
>still enroll in community college. But those scoring below a 17 in
>English and a 19 in math are likely to be steered to remedial work. Many
>of those, though, will be enrolled in credit-bearing courses for English
>composition I and college algebra. But they will be required or strongly
>encouraged to also enroll in an English and reading lab course or an
>algebra lab course.
>Smith said those non-credit courses would meet 100 minutes a week, with
>students using computer programs and tutors to focus on specific
>weaknesses in each subject.
>Research has found that such "mainstreaming" of remedial students by
>placing them in college level courses has positive effects, if they get
>Students who are more poorly prepared will still be assigned to
>lower-level remedial course, which they will have to complete before
>taking credit courses. But Smith said that even for them, the new model
>could cut a semester off time in community college.
>Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
>may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
>Norman Stahl
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