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Finding flaws in ‘remedial’ approach, colleges switch focus

Aug 16, 2017 by

California often launches national trends. This time it’s tackling education inequality, and it could be charting a better path to graduation for college students who need extra help with reading, writing or math.

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From Texas to Tennessee, policymakers and educators are revising their approaches to remediation in an effort to streamline the path from enrollment to graduation. This month, California State University – the largest four-year public university system in the country – announced “sweeping changes” to its developmental education policy, starting at placement and weaving through coursework and student support programs. About a third of California’s 114 community colleges have adopted similar reforms. The new direction stems in part from a broader shift in priorities, as educators recognize the economy’s growing demand for postsecondary certification. “The focus for some time now has been on getting students in the door,” says Hans Johnson, director of the Higher Education Center at the Public Policy Institute of California. “The new focus has been on identifying better ways of overcoming the obstacles for students to succeed. Reforms in remedial education are one part of that.” Students say this shift is welcome. “What I needed for my life was to start where I was at. Meet me where I am, school. Move forward,” Lulu Matute says. “Remediation felt like we were going to move backwards.”

Source: The Christian Science Monitor Daily for August 15, 2017

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