In the News: Cal State Remedial Education Reforms Help Thousands More Students Pass College-Level Math Classes

It has been just over a semester since the Cal State system eliminated non-credit, remedial math classes and replaced them with credit-bearing, college-level courses and added student support. Nearly 7800 students were able to pass the higher-level math classes last fall, reports Teresa Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times.

Faculty at some schools redesigned courses and experimented with boot camps and online tools, Watanabe notes. Some critics say that the new courses are not very different from the old, remedial courses, and note that many students failed the new courses.

In an article for Education Next published last fall, Michal Kurlaender wrote about the change in remediation policies in the Cal State system. She took a close look at the low rates of college readiness of students attending high schools in California and considered what colleges could do to help these students succeed.

In “High Expectations Demand High Support,” she wrote:

Higher education may not be responsible for the inequities students face in their prior schooling, but colleges and universities cannot ignore these disparities if we are to improve degree attainment and reduce college completion gaps. The CSU system now has an opportunity—and an obligation—to lead the way in developing new approaches not only to help more incoming students succeed, but also to reduce the number of students who arrive unprepared for college-level work.

— Education Next

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