State, schools working to curb number of remediation courses in college

By: Taylor Temby Email
By: Taylor Temby Email

Many high school graduates are looking forward to college classes in just a few months, but for some, class may be a like high school. More and more Colorado students are taking remedial courses once they get to college.

Whether it's reading, writing or math, the Colorado Department of Higher Education says more students are having to take a step back and re-learn some subjects, which can be costly for students and the state.

Students go to college to move forward, but more and more first time students are having to take a step back.

The number of high school grads in a remedial class for the 2010-11 school year increased to 31.8 percent. That's according to the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

"[Students are] having to get up to a level which is allowable for them to take that college level course," Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Chad Marturano said.

That includes students in School District 51. The report shows Fruita Monument and Grand Junction High had around 33 percent of first year grads at Colorado schools taking a remedial course. Palisade and Central were higher, with up to fifty percent of students taking at least one remedial class.

Colorado Mesa University has students that have to take remedial classes, but right now, it isn’t a requirement.

"We don't force them in, we say to them, 'We strongly encourage you to take one of these courses,'" CMU president Tim Foster said.

"Public institutions in the state are working to figure out how to better serve these students in terms of delivering that remedial education," Marturano added.

The state and schools are looking for solutions, like going to high schools and helping students get up to speed before they step foot on a college campus.

"We actually send faculty from our community college out to those campuses to [help high school students] do that remedial work their senior year," Foster said.

College students don't get credit for remedial classes because it isn't college level work, but they're still paying for the classes.

"We need to look to get that dollar amount lower by making sure kids are college ready," Marturano said.

Reducing remediation classes will benefit the students, and allow them to get that much closer toward getting a degree.

"They don't have to pay for that course, and it saves them time," Foster said.

CMU has also requested higher admission standards. The school says this would allow the school to provisionally admit students and require them to take these developmental courses if need be, rather than make it an option in the future.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education estimated remedial courses for the 2010-11 school year cost students and the state a combined $46.5 million.

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  • by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 04:29 PM
    I am a perfect 1990's example of this, the most difficult class I took in high school was shop, lol. So,when I started college, I had to take the 090 math, the 090 English as well. I was not prepared and had to take remedial classes. Everything worked out for me. Not everyone who goes to college does not have algebra, trig and geometry or chemistry, physics or other hard sciences, this is just a fact of life sink, swim or dropout.
  • by Skeptical Location: GJ on Jun 3, 2012 at 09:22 AM
    Frankly,I can't believe anyone that can do otherwise still sends their kids to public school.Why do we still follow guidelines laid out more than 150 years ago when it comes to educating our kids?Who says our kids should be grouped according to age--rather than ability?Why are classes scheduled as they are?Why are class periods so short?I mean,if a teacher sees 120 kids every day and spends 5 minutes (5 minutes!!!)with each kid--that's 600 minutes. How many of you actually encourage your kids to read and read those same books when they do?Do you discuss those books with them?It all begins at home. Any parent who complains that their children were woefully prepared for life in college needs to take a long,hard look in the mirror.If you don't know anything about a particular subject--then learn about it.If public education is your only option (as it is for most,including myself),then do your best for your kids.Sit in on their classes,email the teachers about short,get involved and stop passing the buck. I don't generally play movie critic.But I will highly recommend "The War on the Kids".It's an amazingly eye-opening documentary about American public schools.It's frank,brutal and sounds an alarm that we all need to hear.
    • reply
      by 2nd About Time on Jun 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM in reply to Skeptical
      Skeptical, I completely agree with most of your comments. I am a friend of About Time and our girls are both bright girls. We, as parents, have attended every parent teacher conferenc, have emailed our concerns to teachers, have voiced our opinions as much as possible. I have had replies from teachers telling me their hands are tied. How about Colorado quit teaching to take the CSAP and teach for real learning... If you have a child like mine who's teachers tell her she is doing okay she rebels against my prodding her to work harder; makes for a tough lesson she will have to deal with on her college pursuit. Unfortunately she did have a school system that failed her.
  • by About time on Jun 2, 2012 at 08:50 PM
    Finally the truth is being shoved in people's faces who don't have students struggling in this situation being falsely led to believe they are "where they should be". I think it all started with behavior bucks and the treasure chests... I remember drills until you learned it! I have voiced concerns to teachers in this valley for a very long time about the progress of my child's education to be told she is doing just fine! My reply was always she is not, she doesn't understand, she has no home work and she thinks she will get to hop right into college no problem WRONG! She took her ACTs and scored the top 80% for her class at her school yet her score was just barely enough to be accepted at Colorado Mesa, not good enough for Durango and far from her dream college. Major blow and lesson to her that I wasn't just blowing smoke all these years of telling her to push herself more than her teachers did. To not rely on a school system that allows children to do poor work and make it up later or retake tests to improve grades! That has not served her well, thank you school district 51 (lower case used on purpose). By her junior year she has only written two standard five paragraph papers! How alarming is that for a student by her counselors opinion was taking college prep courses! I would say CMU you better get on board before you get the reputation as a remedial college! And to the administraters of the local school district shame on you for padding your paychecks, having excessive staff, and cutting the jobs and resources of those few teachers out there who really do care about teaching the children of this valley!
  • by T Location: GJ on Jun 2, 2012 at 03:32 PM
    Sad the high schools are not preparing the students for their future. This is a huge red flag...
  • by Another anonymous Location: GJ on Jun 2, 2012 at 11:36 AM
    The system is broken but the money issue just isn't the main issue that educators want to claim. It's called being accountable for teaching the subjects in a way that the students can understand and retain. It's not about tests! Just about anyone can study for a test if that is all that is taught. Teach the darn subject then and only then the kids can easily pass any given test at any given time. As for the money, the union keeps crying for more money. You will get your money when we see some progress and quality results and not until then!!!!! Yes, the system is broken thanks to the greedy. The "true educators" do it for the love of teaching and should be compensated accordingly, not according to how long one has been teaching.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2012 at 08:04 AM
  • by Marie on Jun 2, 2012 at 05:41 AM
    Thank you "No Child Left Behind"
    • reply
      by See on Jun 2, 2012 at 07:27 AM in reply to Marie
      How dare anyone try to improve the quality of education. We "educators" will just make sure that it doesn't work and that we can demand more money. Schools are broken. Education was destroyed by the unions. It's not about education, it's about paychecks. It's time to really change things.
      • reply
        by troof on Jun 2, 2012 at 08:38 PM in reply to See
        You must not be talking about education in GJ, the teachers' union has no power. Unmotivated parents rear unmotivated children.
        • reply
          by Skeptical on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM in reply to troof
          How true.Eventually,classroom after classroom of unmotivated children makes for unmotivated teachers.
  • by Duh on Jun 1, 2012 at 04:13 PM
    Quick, pay the colleges to teach things that we've already paid for in high school. Forget those pesky entrance exams, they're meaningless. The "college bubble" is going to break.
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