More and more students are taking remedial classes based off the notion that it will better prepare them for classes- but, is that really what they are accomplishing? With no degree and expensive fees, is the gain worth the debt? Experts are wondering if the debt load is truly worth the slight edge remedial classes may give a college student while at their universities.
Remedial college courses are courses that are also commonly referred to as post-secondary remediation, developmental education, basic skills education, compensatory education, preparatory education, or academic upgrading. It is made up of stages or levels that are composed of increasingly more difficult courses- this structure is meant to ease the student into a higher level of competency that is expected of them in school.
An estimated 1.7 million college students in this country are pushed towards taking remedial college classes to get them better prepared for the coursework and strenuous workload of post-secondary schools. Research is revealing that these students may not be getting their money’s worth- they may just be building up their debt without much payoff.
Remedial college courses cost around the same as a normal post-secondary class typically costs, but the students who take them don’t walk away with a degree- that’s because they don’t meet any standards or degree requirements. Research shows that only 10% of those who attended remedial courses actually graduate from community colleges within three years; just over 1/3 are able to earn their bachelor’s degree within a six year period.
These numbers are nothing less than disappointing considering how many students in two year colleges have taken the courses- over 50% have taken such a preparatory course. 20% of students in four year universities have taken them as well, but the pay off just does not seem to be there.
In order to see more benefit from these courses, educational researchers are suggesting that the classes be redesigned-they want the coursework to be more specific to the individual instead of one size fits all.