- Recent data from the Columbia University Community College Research Center suggests only 20% of students enrolled in remedial math or English classes go on to complete the course work or to graduate.
- Some colleges are looking to reverse the trend through increases in peer mentoring and counseling resources, staffed by students with similar experiences to those requiring additional support.
- Experts say these resources, in addition to support with transportation and textbook purchases, makes the difference in students' ability to remain academically focused while dealing with external issues like homelessness, hunger or family issues.
Remedial education is a growing part of the national conversation on college affordability, and it has attracted the attention of lawmakers in states and within the federal government. Campuses which show a commitment to enrolling low-income and minority students, but which don't complement the enrollment strategy with direct outreach, stand to lose ground in graduation rates and poor internal reviews from students and faculty. Schools like Grand Rapids Community College use online assessment tools to help students self-determine the amount of time and resources they have to fully commit to pursuing a degree.
Alternative offerings in competency-based education, or pipeline programs from secondary districts may present opportunities for students to familiarize themselves with the demands of higher education while providing easier pathways for completion.