Remedial courses are courses students must take before they can take the full spectrum of college credit courses, because they are deemed unready to succeed in these courses. Not only do students receive no credit for these courses, but they must pay for them out of pocket, as financial aid often does not cover the cost.
Students are guaranteed a K-12 education in the United States, and in theory, this education should provide them with the knowledge and readiness to succeed post-graduation. In reality, about 7,000 Colorado students have to pay to receive that knowledge and readiness, rather than receive it from the public school system, which should have provided it to them free of cost.
In addition, this problem is affecting students of color and low-income students at a higher rate than others. Data from the Colorado Department of Education reveals 80% of Black students at two year colleges and 50% of Black students at four year colleges were not ready for college level courses, 69% of Hispanic students at two year colleges and 36% of Hispanic students at four year colleges were not ready for college level courses, and 51% of free and reduced lunch students were not ready for college level courses.
We already know that a myriad of issues prevent our schools from providing students the quality education they deserve, but improving our education system is about more than just our schools, but our communities and our state overall. Colorado’s future depends on young people ready for the workforce and for college. So how can we get closer to that goal? Colorado’s students in remedial programs dropped 3% in the last year, and the Colorado Department of Education is working on alternative programs such as Supplemental Academic Instruction, Concurrent Enrollment, Improved State Standards, and Development Education Redesign, in order to decrease this percentage further. Hopefully in the future, all students’ high school diplomas will promise readiness for the next step, just as we expect and demand they should.
Posted by Haley DiRenzo