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Martha -- Having read some 10 responses to this very provocative question
I'll throw in another thought.  Maybe we need to look into adjunct reading
courses more thoroughly.  There are many University courses here in
California which lose many students.  I feel that one of the primary reasons
for the loss of students is that the students are lost -- lost in the
lectures, lost in the textbooks, and, some, lost in space! We can teachh
Study Skills, including Study Reading, but when the student comes face
to face with difficult text and difficult coursework, there is a need
for support in an ongoing consistent environment.  The Learning Assistant
or Learning Assistance Center is a voluntary elective process.  The
student who perceives that s/he needs help, goes for help.  Most don't.  Is
there a Research vehicle that can study this and come up with some valid d
data?  Or am I beating a dead horse?  Joanie SHulman