Report: Community college students not prepared

More than half of responding faculty said they use some form of early assessment to gauge students’ preparedness, but when they find students to be underprepared, only 6 percent of faculty recommend that those students change courses.

On a national scale, much discussion centers around remedial education. Many institutions are trying to help reduce the number of students in remedial courses and enroll students in gateway courses.

These efforts include:

  • A push to directly place all students in gateway courses with corequisite support
  • Legislative action that removes requirements for students to enroll in developmental courses
  • Partnerships with K-12 to reduce the number of students with a need for any remediation
  • Curriculum alignment processes that open the door to pathways for student progression

Some schools are rolling out new remedial programs and others contemplating a new form of remediation known as corequisite remediation.

Corequisite remediation involves students taking a developmental class while concurrently enrolled in a higher-level class. The report’s authors say this model accelerates progression through the developmental sequence.

Students who report being enrolled in corequisite English and math courses have higher engagement scores across all five Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) benchmarks. Although promising, the number of respondents enrolled in these types of courses varies widely across colleges.

“‘Expectations Meet Reality’ describes what is, and the innovative work featured in the report describes where we can be,” says Evelyn Waiwaiole, director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement. “The bridge between developmental education and student success must be shortened. Redesigning the educational pathway for all students needs to be an urgent priority for colleges.”

Laura Ascione