Many College Students In Remedial Classes Drop Out, Report SuggestsBy Julio Cachila
A new report says that many community college students taking remedial classes drop out, and ultimately fail to finish college.
The Public Policy Institute of California, who made the report, said in a press release that many of California's community college students are unprepared for college education, and thus need to be placed in remedial classes, or what is called developmental education. According to their analysis, 80 percent of students entering college take at least one developmental course in basic skills subjects such as math, English, or both.
Students placed in developmental education courses are placed as far as four levels below college-level coursework. Of the two, math is found to be the greatest challenge, with 65 percent enrolling in a math course, with 73 percent of enrolled students placed at least two levels below college level. Fifty-four percent of students enroll in developmental English.
The problem with developmental course sequences is that they take much time before a student can receive credit. Students taking developmental math need an average of 2.5 semesters, while those in developmental English need an average 1.9 semesters before proceeding into college-level math or English that can be credited.
This problem - taking too much time studying without earning any credit for it - ultimately discourage students from pursuing or continuing their education.
"Developmental education that is not effective comes at a high cost to students-not only in tuition and fees for courses that do not count toward a degree, but also in time and lost income," said Marisol Cuellar Mejia, PPIC research associate and a coauthor of the report.
Diane Dieckmeyer, vice president of academic affairs at Norco College, said the number of students losing motivation over a long period in developmental education is alarming.
"We're devastated by those numbers," Dieckmeyer, who has 88 percent of students in her school take developmental education classes, told the Press Enterprise. "One of the things we know is students lose motivation going through those semesters where they're not getting college credit. We know also that they feel embarrassed and disappointed to tell their families they're in basic-skills classes."