A nationally-recognized expert on college education tells Missouri college officials that remedial college courses kill far more college careers than they help.
The Complete College America organization, founded by long-time Indiana higher education commissioner Stan Jones, is largely underwritten by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation It focuses on improving graduation rates. but he says many remedial programs do nothing to help students get degrees. “We don’t lose students because they can’t pass remedial courses, ” he says, “We lose them because of attrition. About thirty percent of students assigned to remedial work don’t go to the first class.”
He tells members of the governing boards of all 23 of Missouri’s two-year and four-year institutions that those students don’t want to be in remedial courses, and still don’t like the subjects, leading to high attrition.
The answer, he thinks, is to put those students in regular credit-bearing courses, but provide support.
Jones say the ACT testing program says only one-third of the students who take the tests are prepared for college. But he says the problem is that two-thirds of high school graduates start college in a system that produces too many failures.