New type of remediation is making waves in higher ed

An interactive new report lays out dramatic data in support of corequisite remediation for student achievement.

Tutoring at ComputerTraditional prerequisite remediation is failing, according to a new report from Complete College America; but a new form, called corequisite remediation, may be able to provide triple the success rates in a quarter of the time for unprepared students, allowing them a better chance at eventually graduating.

The report, titled Corequisite Remediation: Spanning the Completion Divide – Breakthrough Results Fulfilling the Promise of College Access for Underprepared Students, is the first of its kind on the topic and is specifically optimized for online viewing and interactivity. It highlights what it says are dramatic results from statewide efforts in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and West Virginia, and also allows users to explore remediation numbers in their own state.

As described in the report, 42 percent of all U.S. students, which amounts to more than 1.5 million students annually, begin college in remediation (prerequisite coursework that does not count toward a degree, usually costing students and states time and money). The report notes that enrollment in certain remediation is higher among certain subgroups, including 56 percent of African Americans and 45 percent of Hispanic students. Among recent high school graduates, 36 percent are required to enroll in noncredit remedial courses.

However, the report describes how traditional remediation fails most students, stating that “few remedial students ever enroll in, let alone complete, their introductory courses in math and English,” with only 17 percent actually graduating with their intended degrees. This is because many students, even if they succeed in their remedial courses, fall off-track or run out of money before they are able to begin their degree coursework.

Is Corequisite Remediation an Answer?

With corequisite remediation, however, students can enroll directly into college-level courses and receive academic support alongside their regular classes, states the report. Instead of taking numerous prerequisite, non-credit courses, students learn the needed material while working toward their degree. Within their college-level courses, additional class periods or customized support in a lab provide opportunities for academic support and tutoring when bridges need to be gaped.

(Next page: Dramatic data in support of corequisite remediation; implementation)